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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

B cells can prime naive CD4+ T cells in vivo in the absence of other professional antigen-presenting cells in a CD154-CD40-dependent manner.

The role of B cells as APC is well established. However, their ability to prime naive T cells in vivo has been difficult to examine because of the presence of dendritic cells. The current studies were undertaken to examine this issue in a model of adoptive transfer of antigen-specific B cells and T cells into histoincompatible Rag2(-/-) mice. By means of this system, we were able to demonstrate that antigen-specific B cells are competent APC for naive CD4(+) T cells specific for the same antigen. In vivo antigen presentation resulted in expansion of both CD4(+) T cells and B cells. The antigen-presenting function of the transferred B cells was dependent on the CD154-CD40 interaction, as transfer of CD154-deficient antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells or CD40-deficient B cells failed to induce T and B cell expansion in response to immunization. These results indicate that antigen-specific B cells have the capacity to induce primary T cell responses in the absence of other competent APC.[1]


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