The role of specific CD4(+) T cell subsets in the induction of Immoral immune responses in humans is largely unknown. In this study, the generation of hepatitis B surface Ag-specific CD4(+) T lymphocytes following vaccination was closely monitored and characterized at the single-cell level. The appearance and absolute numbers of hepatitis B surface Ag-specific IL-2 producing effector memory CD4(+) T lymphocytes was solely and tightly related to Ab titers reached. This relation remained present many years after vaccination. Subsequently, a relation was found between Ab titers and number of IL-2 producing memory CD4(+) T lymphocytes for various other Ags. These observations matched the findings of an in vitro assay, using different T cell subsets to induce B cell differentiation into IgG-producing plasma cells. By depleting for IL-2 producing memory T cells, we demonstrated that these cells are important for B cell differentiation into IgG-producing plasma cells. Finally, blocking the action of IL-2 with an IL-2R-alpha Ab inhibited the differentiation of B lymphocytes into IgG-producing plasma cells. Based on these findings, we conclude that the development of Ag-specific IL-2-producing memory T cells appears to be essential for the development of IgG-secreting plasma cells in humans.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|