B-Cells - Why one specificity?

Bob Scibienski rjscibienski at ucdavis.edu
Tue Dec 9 14:42:45 EST 1997


In fact, "two" specificities equates with four possible L + H chain
combinations, so the waste grows exponentionally.

Bob S.


John Richard Seavitt <jrseavit at artsci.wustl.edu> wrote:

>On Tue, 9 Dec 1997, Andrew Louka wrote:

>> Why one B cell, one specificity?  Why not have multiple specificities per 
>> B cell - surely this would have been more effective (and energy efficient!).

>Nope.  Then you'd have B cells with two or more specific surface
>immunologlobins.  Since the B cell couldn't distinquish which one it got
>activated through, it would presumably behave as if all of its receptor
>specificities had been activated.  It would await T cell help,
>proliferate, and differentiate into plasma cells.  Of course, it would now
>be spending the metabloic energy to produce two or more specific secreted
>antibodies.

>Of course, the odds that the appropriate antigens are present for more
>than one of the antibodies is low, and so the extra production is waste.

>John Seavitt

>P.S.  The current setup also allows the use of allelic exclusion to select
>functional rearrangements in BCR genes, which would no longer be a
>possible strategy for a multispecificty B cell. 






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