The xid Mutation Diminishes Memory B Cell Generation but Does Not Affect Somatic Hypermutation and Selection

Anna Ridderstad, G. J V Nossal, David M. Tarlinton

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In this study, we examine the relationship between primary and secondary T cell-dependent immune responses using the response of xid mice to the hapten (4-hydroxy-3-nitrophenyl)acetyl (NP) as an experimental model. The reduced serologic primary immune response of xid mice was demonstrated to be caused by a substantially decreased Ab-forming cell (AFC) generation. Furthermore, the germinal center reaction in the primary xid immune response was diminished and the frequency of NP-specific memory B cells prior to secondary immunization was reduced 10-fold. Despite the poor primary response of xid mice, secondary exposure to Ag generated a response that was qualitatively and quantitatively equal to that of wt mice. The number of IgG1 AFCs in spleen and bone marrow increased equally in both groups, as did the proportion of AFCs secreting high affinity Ab in both locations. The extent and distribution of somatic mutations in the VH genes of xid secondary response B cells was also found to be normal, indicating that the xid gene product is not critical for the processes that result in affinity maturation. Thus, although xid mice generate memory B cells of normal phenotype but at a substantially lower frequency, this does not limit the magnitude of the secondary response. Therefore, our results imply that the reduced memory B cell frequency in xid mice is still above some threshold value necessary for a normal secondary immune response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3357-3365
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 1996

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