Expression of interleukin 2 receptors on activated human B cells

J Exp Med. 1984 Nov 1;160(5):1450-66. doi: 10.1084/jem.160.5.1450.


Using anti-Tac, a monoclonal anti-interleukin 2 (IL-2) receptor antibody, we have explored the possibility that certain activated B cells display receptors for IL-2. Resting normal B cells and unselected B cell lines established from normal individuals were Tac antigen negative. In contrast, the cell surface Tac antigen expression was demonstrable on 6 of 10 B cell lines from patients with Burkitt's lymphoma, 5 of 6 B cell lines derived from patients with HTLV-I-associated adult T cell leukemia (including all four that had integrated HTLV-I into their genome), and on certain normal B cells activated with pokeweed mitogen. Furthermore, cloned Epstein-Barr virus-transformed B cell lines derived from Tac-positive normal B cells continued to express the Tac antigen in long-term cultures and manifested high affinity IL-2 receptors identified in binding studies with purified radiolabeled IL-2. The line 5B4 developed in the present study could be induced with purified JURKAT-derived or recombinant IL-2 to express a larger number of IL-2 receptors. Furthermore, the addition of IL-2 to the 5B4 B cell line augmented IgM synthesis, which could be blocked by the addition of anti-Tac. The size of the IL-2 receptors expressed on the cloned normal B cell lines was similar (53,000-57,000 daltons) to that of receptors on phytohemagglutinin-stimulated T cell lymphoblasts. Thus, certain malignant and activated normal B cells display the Tac antigen and manifest high affinity receptors for IL-2. These data suggest that IL-2 may play a role in the differentiation of activated B cells into immunoglobulin-synthesizing and -secreting cells.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / physiology
  • Antibody-Producing Cells / metabolism
  • Antigens, Surface / analysis
  • Antigens, Surface / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Cell Line
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / biosynthesis
  • Interleukin-2 / physiology
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Molecular Weight
  • Receptors, Immunologic / analysis*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Interleukin-2
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7