Dendritic cells, B cells and the regulation of antibody synthesis

Immunol Rev. 1999 Dec;172:325-34. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-065x.1999.tb01376.x.


Dendritic cells (DC) are usually thought of as antigen-presenting cells for T cells. However, recent studies from our laboratory and those of others have shown that they have important roles in B-cell activation and regulation of antibody synthesis. Rat DC make short term interactions with resting B cells and these interactions can be stimulated by cross-linking molecules on either cell surface. These DC can retain antigen in native form for at least 36 h in vivo and in vitro and can subsequently release it for recognition by B cells. In vivo antibody responses induced by antigen-pulsed DC are skewed towards IgG. In vitro, naäive B cells incubated with antigen-pulsed DC subsequently secrete IgM and IgG when cultured with an antigen-specific CD4+ T-cell line, whereas if B cells are incubated with antigen without DC, only IgM is produced. These observations show that DC play an important role in the initiation of and regulation of antibody synthesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation*
  • Antigen Presentation
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Communication
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Models, Biological
  • Rats
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology