IL-2 producing memory CD4+ T lymphocytes are closely associated with the generation of IgG-secreting plasma cells

Nicolle H R Litjens, Martin Huisman, Daniëlle Hijdra, Bart M N Lambrecht, Koert J Stittelaar, Michiel G H Betjes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The role of specific CD4(+) T cell subsets in the induction of humoral 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3665-73
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)
Volume181
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2008

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2008 by The American Association of Immunologists

This study was financially supported by a grant from the Dutch Kidney Foundation (Grant no. 1630008) and the Malpighi Foundation

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