Functions of interleukin-4 on human B lymphocytes
In vitro studies have demonstrated that IL-4 can either enhance or inhibit the proliferation of human B cells depending on their mode of activation and the nature of the calls and/or cytokines in the immediate environment. Of these in vitro effects, it is now clear from in vivo studies in mice, that IL-4 plays a key role in the production of IgE . It is, however, not yet determined whether IL-4 plays any role in vivo in the antigen-dependent clonal expansion of B cells. Our demonstration of the crucial role of cross-linking of the CD40 antigen in the proliferation and differentiation of human B lymphocytes leads us to question the role of this antigen. Recent studies have demonstrated this antigen to be homologous to the nerve growth factor receptor  and the two receptors for TNF [17–19]. It is therefore tempting to speculate that the CD40 antigen may either be the receptor for a cytokine or the ligand for a membrane counterstructure expressed on cells interacting with B cells.
KeywordsNerve Growth Factor Receptor Recombinant Cytokine Staphylococcus Aureus Cowan Day2 Day7 Mononuclear Cell System
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