Control of B cell proliferation: Inhibition of responses to B cell mitogens induced by plasma cell tumors

J. E. Berman, S. Zolla-Pazner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A multitude of factors has been described that positively and negatively regulate B cell proliferation. A model system for the study of negative control of B cell function is provided by mice bearing plasmacytomas (PC-mice). In PC-mice, the primary immune response, as measured by development of antibody-forming cells (AFC), is severely suppressed. The present report specifically identifies a block in B cell proliferation as the apparent cause of this reduction in AFC production. Thus, the proliferative response to B cells from the spleens of PC-mice (PC-spleens) was significantly impaired when stimulated with four different B cell mitogens (lipopolysaccharide, Salmonella typhimurium mitogen, anti-μ conjugated to Sepharose, and 8-mercaptoguanosine). Nevertheless, the mitogen-responsiveness of these B cells was recovered when they were segregated by various methods from macrophages. These data suggest that the proliferative ability of the B cells in PC-spleens is inherently normal. In concordance with this conclusion, it was shown that suppressor cells from PC-spleens can block the proliferation of normal B cells derived from nontumor-bearing mice. This inhibition does not require direct cell contact and is mediated via soluble factors. The relevance of these results to previous studies of PC-induced immunosuppression and to the control of normal B cell proliferation is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2872-2878
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes


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