Prostaglandin E2 and cAMP promote B lymphocyte class switching to IgG1

Immunol Lett. 2002 Dec 3;84(3):191-8. doi: 10.1016/s0165-2478(02)00185-2.


Prostaglandins of the E series (PGE) have traditionally been considered as suppressive for immune responses; however, recent data suggest that PGE channels the immune response towards a T helper 2 type response and production of selected immunoglobulin isotypes. Herein, we present data showing that PGE(2) and other agents that induce intracellular rises in cAMP significantly increased B lymphocyte IgG1 production (up to sevenfold). PGE(2) acted on small resting B cells and on uncommitted B cells expressing high levels of surface IgM to increase the number of cells secreting IgG1. PGE(2) even increased IgG1 synthesis by purified B cells in the absence of exogenous IL-4. Finally, PGE(2) synergized with IL-4 to induce germline gamma1 transcripts through the switch region. This transcription is required for isotype switching. These data support the hypothesis that PGE(2) acts on uncommitted resting B cells at the level of germline gamma1 transcription to promote class switching to IgG1. PGE(2) is an important regulator of the immune response, shifting the balance towards a T helper type 2 response, directing selection of the isotypes produced, and promoting memory cell formation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cyclic AMP / immunology
  • Cyclic AMP / pharmacology
  • Dinoprostone / immunology
  • Dinoprostone / pharmacology*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Immunoglobulin Class Switching / drug effects*
  • Immunoglobulin Class Switching / immunology
  • Immunoglobulin G / biosynthesis
  • Immunoglobulin G / drug effects*
  • Immunoglobulin G / genetics
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / immunology
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-4 / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects
  • Transcription, Genetic / immunology


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Interleukin-4
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Dinoprostone