By Henry G. Kunkel (ed.), Frank J. Dixon (ed.)
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Extra resources for Advances in Immunology, Vol. 31
For example, release of nonspecific helper factors from the T cell-macrophage interaction that trigger B cells without an I-region restrictive interaction (Section I1I,C). There is no a priori reason why selected T cells cannot interact with the B cell in an I-region-restricted way. B cells take up and handle antigen in a manner analogous to macrophages (Engers and Unanue, 1973), the exception being that only the B cells with specific receptors can interact with antigens, whereas all the macrophages in a population are capable of antigen-binding.
Direct examination of antigen presentation from B cells to T cells has been difficult to test and, in general, has not been critically examined. Technical difficulties in separating macrophages from B cells limit the experiments. The proliferation of T cells was highly favored b y the addition of macrophage-conditioned medium to the culture. More recent results using Ig as antigen support an antigen presenting function of B cells (Chestnut and Grey, 1971). It is possible that the B cell may present antigen, but only for the purpose of receiving back the T cell helper signal that it acquires by direct cell contact.
However, mercaptoethanol enhanced the activity of very small numbers of macrophages added to the culture (Rosenstreich and Mizel, 1978): macrophage-depleted T cells responded marginally to PHA if reconstituted with 1% macrophages, yet 1% macrophages in the presence of mercaptoethanol resulted in a very strong DNA synthesis by the T cells (about 35,000 cpm vs. 3000, respectively) (Fig. 2). , carried out experiments in which the separated T cells or macrophages were pulsed with PHA briefly and then cocultured.