IL-21 dependent IgE production in human and mouse in vitro culture systems is cell density and cell division dependent and is augmented by IL-10

Cell Immunol. 2005 Dec;238(2):123-34. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2006.03.001. Epub 2006 Apr 5.


IL-21 is known to enhance immunoglobulin production using human in vitro models. Using either PBMC or purified tonsilar B cells both stimulated with anti-CD40, IL-4+/-IL-21, this enhancement was shown to correlate with increased cell division especially for IgE and to a lesser extent for IgM and total IgG. Cell division was monitored by CFSE staining and maximum cell division was found at low initial cell plating densities. A correlation between increased cell division and IL-10-mediated enhancement of IgE production was also seen; however, increased cell division plays a smaller role with IL-10 than IL-21. This is further emphasized in that when IL-10 and IL-21 were added together there was a further synergistic increase in IgE seen, but no accompanying further increase in cell division. The mouse system was also examined for IL-21 effects as a function of cell concentration, and as in humans, IL-21 added to murine cells increased IgE production over IL-4/CD40 stimulated cells at lower cell concentrations; however, IL-21 significantly reduced IgE at higher plated cell concentrations.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • B-Lymphocytes / drug effects*
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • CD40 Antigens / immunology
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Separation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin D / metabolism
  • Immunoglobulin E / biosynthesis*
  • Immunoglobulin G / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-10 / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-4 / biosynthesis
  • Interleukins / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C


  • CD40 Antigens
  • Immunoglobulin D
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Interleukins
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interleukin-4
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • interleukin-21