In vivo and in vitro expression of an interleukin 2 receptor by murine B and T lymphocytes

F. D. Finkelman, Thomas Malek, E. M. Shevach, J. J. Mond

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Interleukin 2 (IL 2), which is well established to be a T cell growth factor, has more recently been shown to stimulate B lymphocyte growth and differentiation in vitro. Responsiveness of B and T cells to IL 2 has been associated with expression of a cell membrane IL 2 receptor (IL 2R). To investigate the role of IL 2 in B cell growth and differentiation in vivo, a system was used in which the injection of mice with a goat antibody to mouse IgD (GaMδ) induces polyclonal T-independent B cell proliferation first, and later induces polyclonal T-dependent B cell proliferation and IgG secretion. IL 2R expression by splenic B and T lymphocytes from GaMδ injected mice was studied by a dual label immunofluorescence technique. Although GaMδ was found to be a strong inducer of B cell IL 2R expression in vitro, even in serum-free medium, and stimulated up to 50% of splenic T cells to express considerable quantities of IL 2R in vivo, it failed to induce more than minimal B cell IL 2R expression in vivo. Concanavalin A and bacterial lipid A also induced B cells to express IL 2R to a much greater extent in vitro than in vivo. Although these agents and GaMδ acted synergistically to stimulate B cell IL 2R expression both in vitro and in vivo, a single agent induced B cell IL 2R expression to a considerably greater extent in vitro than did all three agents acting together in vivo. In vitro GaMδ-induced B cell IL 2R expression was not suppressed by inclusion of IL 2 in the culture medium but was suppressed by the presence of 10% normal mouse serum or plasma. These observations suggest that polyclonal T-dependent B cell proliferation and antibody secretion may not require an interaction between B cells and IL 2; the in vivo environment may downregulate IL 2R expression by B cells; and in vivo B cell IL 2R expression and consequently, induction of B cell responsiveness to IL 2, may require stimuli beyond those sufficient to induce B cell IL 2R expression and IL 2 responsiveness in vitro.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2252-2259
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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