Branhamella catarrhalis activates human B lymphocytes following interactions with surface IgD and class I major histocompatibility complex antigens.
Branhamella catarrhalis initiated DNA synthesis in human blood or spleen cells enriched for B lymphocytes but did not activate T-lymphocyte-enriched fractions. Monoclonal antibodies were used to determine which B-cell surface molecules were of importance for the activation signal. The addition of monoclonal antibodies reactive with IgD, HLA class I antigens, and B2-microglobulin to B lymphocyte cultures selectively inhibited the B-lymphocyte response to B. catarrhalis. Antibody binding to IgD and class I antigens did not inhibit B-cell proliferation following stimulation with anti-IgM beads, Staphylococcus aureus, or Epstein-Barr virus. This suggests that surface IgD is of major importance for B-lymphocyte stimulation by B. catarrhalis. Since B. catarrhalis binds HLA-ABC containing liposomes it is suggested that a similar binding of B. catarrhalis to HLA-ABC on the surface of B lymphocytes serves as an accessory factor that stabilizes the binding of B. catarrhalis to surface IgD. Activation of human B lymphocytes by B. catarrhalis resulted in changes of cell surface molecules that were quantitatively and qualitatively similar to those that resulted from the activation by S. aureus. Therefore although these two bacteria appear to activate B cells in a similar manner, they induce B-cell proliferation through interactions with different cell surface structures.
Forsgren, A; Penta, A; Schlossman, SF; Tedder, TF
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