Human anti-pneumococcal polysaccharide antibodies are secreted by the CD5- B cell lineage.
To determine whether human antibody responses to T cell-independent pneumococcal polysaccharide antigens are derived from CD5+ or CD5- B cells, we utilized an ELISPOT assay to detect individual anti-polysaccharide antibody-secreting cells. Human anti-type IV pneumococcal polysaccharide antibody-secreting cells were found in the CD5- B cell subpopulation. An EBV transformed anti-pneumococcal antibody-secreting B cell line was also CD5-. The ontogeny of CD5 expressing B cells correlated with the age at which polysaccharide responsiveness is acquired (generally around age 2 years in humans). The CD5- B cell subset represents only 25-30% of the B cells in young children, but this fraction increases throughout childhood to a plateau of 70-80% of the B cells in adults. These results support the hypothesis that the developmental change in responsiveness to T cell-independent polysaccharide antigens in humans is associated with maturation of the CD5- B cell subset.
Barrett, DJ; Sleasman, JW; Schatz, DA; Steinitz, M
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