Injection of the same antigen following primary immunization induces a classic secondary response characterized by a large quantity of high-affinity antibody of an immunoglobulin G class produced more rapidly than in the initial response – the products of memory B cells are qualitatively distinct from that of the original naive B lymphocytes. Very little is known of the help provided by the CD4 T cells that stimulate memory B cells. Using antigen-specific T-cell receptor transgenic CD4 T cells (DO11.10) as a source of help, we found that naive transgenic T cells stimulated memory B cells almost as well (in terms of quantity and speed) as transgenic T cells that had been recently primed. There was a direct correlation between serum antibody levels and the number of naive transgenic T cells transferred. Using T cells from transgenic interleukin-2-deficient mice we showed that interleukin-2 was not required for a secondary response, although it was necessary for a primary response. The results suggested that the signals delivered by CD4 T cells and required by memory B cells for their activation were common to both antigen-primed and naive CD4 T cells.
- adoptive transfer
- CD4 T cells