Do B-cells and T-cells have to touch?

Jorg Kirberg Kirberg at
Mon Feb 9 09:57:44 EST 1998

In article <xzqra5d1kzf.fsf at>, axel at
(Axel Boldt) wrote:

> 1) The B-cell takes the antigen in, processes it, displays parts of it
>    with MHC II, then one of the previously activated T-cells comes
>    along, detects the antigen on the B-cell surface, binds to it, and
>    B-cell gets activated as a result.
Dear Axel,
that's the correct one. Only I think it is simplistic to say that the B cell
gets 'activated as a result' of T cell binding. Rather the T cell starts
to secrete lymphokines (that are SHORT range molecules) which allow the B
cell to continue.

In terms of references: Look for Mitchison, N.A. some thirty years
ago. That's what I found and therein you might find cited more useful stuff:
%A Mitchison, N. A.
%D 1990
%T An exact comparison between the efficiency of two- and three-cell-type
clusters in mediating helper activity
%B Eur J Immunol
%V 20
%N 3
%P 699-702
%K Animal
Antibody Formation
B-Lymphocytes/cy [Cytology]
*B-Lymphocytes/im [Immunology]
Dose-Response Relationship, Immunologic
H-2 Antigens/im [Immunology]
Immunization, Passive
In Vitro
*Lymphocyte Cooperation
Minor Histocompatibility Loci
T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/cy [Cytology]
*T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/im [Immunology]
T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/cy [Cytology]
*T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer/im [Immunology]
%X Adoptive transfer of anti-H-2Db-primed B cells combined with anti-minor
histocompatibility antigen-primed T cells enables the effect of linked and
unlinked alloantigen to be compared. Over an extensive dose range the
unlinked antigen proved ineffective. In a previously described, exactly
comparable system for assessing the same effect on cytotoxic T cell
precursors, low doses of linked antigen had proved approximately equally
effective, but high doses of unlinked antigen had proved effective. This
contrast supports the hypothesis that whereas T-B collaboration is
mediated by two-cell-type clusters, collaboration between T cells requires
formation of three-cell-type clusters.


            Correct E_mail address as below (spam blocker)
Joerg Kirberg                              Tel. 0031 - 20 - 512 19 98
The Netherlands Cancer Institute           FAX  0031 - 20 - 512 20 11
Div. Molecular Genetics (H4)               E_mail kirberg at
Plesmanlaan 121
NL - 1066 CX Amsterdam
The Netherlands

More information about the Cellbiol mailing list