Interferon acts directly on human B lymphocytes to modulate immunoglobulin synthesis

B. Harfast, J. R. Huddlestone, P. Casali, T. C. Merigan, M. B. Oldstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


At different times of exposure, interferon (IFN) enhanced and suppressed pokeweek mitogen- (PWM) induced IgG synthesis by human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL). Pretreatment of PBL with IFN frequently increased antibody production by more than 100% when compared with that by untreated PBL. Results of experiments in which PBL were separated into T and B subpopulations indicated that IFN preparations acted directly on B cells. Thus, mixtures of IFN-treated B cells and untreated T cells from 5 of 7 persons tested produced 81% to 500% more IgG than untreated, matched control cells. However, IFN-treated monocytes mixed with untreated B and T cells or IFN-treated T cells mixed with untreated B cells failed to enhance IgG production significantly in similar assays. In contrast to the pretreatment protocol, when IFN was present in the incubation mixture throughout the PWM assay, IgG production decreased. Sephadex chromatography of the IFN and tests of the resulting fractions indicated that the IgG production-enhancing activity was located in the fraction carrying the antiviral activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2146-2150
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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