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Role of antigen receptor affinity in T cell-independent antibody responses in vivo.

To examine how B cell receptor affinity affects clonal selection in thymus-independent type 2 (TI-2) immune responses, we produced mice with antibodies that showed a 40-fold difference in affinity for the hapten (4-hydroxy-3-nitrophenyl)acetyl (NP). The difference in the responses of high- and low-affinity B cells to NP-Ficoll was only twofold. However, in competition experiments only the high-affinity B cells responded to antigen. CD19 deficiency increased the affinity threshold of TI-2 responses, whereas Lyn deficiency enhanced clonal expansion but abrogated B cell terminal differentiation. Thus, in TI-2 immune responses, large differences in affinity produce only small differences in the intrinsic ability of B cells to respond to antigen, and selection for high-affinity clones is due to clonal competition during the earliest stages of the response.

Pubmed ID: 11896394


  • Shih TA
  • Roederer M
  • Nussenzweig MC


Nature immunology

Publication Data

April 28, 2002

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: GM07739

Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, CD19
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte
  • Apoptosis
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cell Division
  • Gene Targeting
  • Haptens
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region
  • Lectins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nitrophenols
  • Phenylacetates
  • Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell
  • Sialic Acid Binding Ig-like Lectin 2
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • src-Family Kinases