Novel diversity in IL-4-mediated responses in resting human naive B cells versus germinal center/memory B cells

E. F. Wagner, N. Hanna, L. D. Fast, N. Kouttab, P. R. Shank, A. Vazquez, S. Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent studies have defined several phenotypic and molecular changes associated with the maturation of naive human B cells within the milieu of germinal centers. Although naive B cells serve as natural precursors to germinal center (GC)/memory (M) subpopulations, little is known about the physiological requirements for the survival of the naive B cell pool in the absence of cell-cell contact or Ag-mediated activation. Because IL-4 induces expression of several membrane receptors such as CD23 which are uniquely present on resting human naive B lymphocytes, we hypothesized that these cells might be intrinsically programmed to respond to IL-4 in the absence of cell division. Using buoyant density-dependent isolation and further enrichment by negative/positive selection of human naive and GC/M subpopulations, we characterized cytokine receptor moieties on these cells and analyzed their survival and growth in the presence of IL-4 or IL-10. Resting naive B cells expressed significantly higher IL-4 receptor α-chain on their cell surface than the combined GC/M subpopulation. The IL-10 receptor and the IL-2 receptor γc chain were almost equally expressed on both subpopulations. When cultured in vitro, the addition of IL-4, but not IL-10, protected naive B cells from apoptosis in the absence of activation and growth. However, IL-4 exerted no such effect on resting GC/M B cells. These data support the hypothesis that IL-4 plays a pivotal role in the survival and maintenance of resting human naive B cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5573-5579
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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