In vitro stimulation of human tonsillar subepithelial B cells: requirement for interaction with activated T cells

Eur J Immunol. 2001 Mar;31(3):752-6. doi: 10.1002/1521-4141(200103)31:3<752::aid-immu752>;2-9.


Human tonsillar subepithelial B cells, which are a marginal zone-equivalent B cell subset, respond readily to T-independent type 2 antigens, but not to polyclonal B cell activators in vitro. In this study, subepithelial (SE) B cells were induced to proliferate and mature into plasma cells when co-cultured with activated T cells. The response of SE B cells was not observed when co-cultures were carried out in transwell chambers or in the presence of blocking anti-LFA-1 antibodies, demonstrating the need for a close T-B cell interaction. The presence of soluble CD40 also prevented the B cell response in vitro suggesting a pivotal role of CD40-CD40 ligand interactions. The data are discussed in terms of the T cell dependence of marginal zone (MZ) B cell response and the possible existence of various MZ B cell subsets.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD40 Antigens / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Epithelium / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / biosynthesis
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Lymphocyte Cooperation*
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1 / immunology
  • Palatine Tonsil / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • CD40 Antigens
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Lymphocyte Function-Associated Antigen-1