First published December 1, 1975 - More info
Two separate lymphocyte populations, each bearing easily detectable surface immunoglobulin, have been detected in human peripheral blood. The first, B cells, has surface determinants that are stable at 37degreeC, but are removed by pronase and regenerate in culture. The cells are nylon adherent and have a receptor for C3, and studies with unit gravity sedimentation indicate they are mostly small lymphocytes. B cells comprise 9.5% of the total lymphocytes, with the normal range from 3-16%. As many or more lymphocytes lack membrane-incorporated Ig determinants but have an Fc receptor that binds IgG1 and IgG3 in normal serum maximally at 4degreeC. This receptor for cytophilic IgG is removed by pronase but not by trypsin. The second population has been named L lymphocytes because of membrane-labile IgG determinants. L cells do not adhere to nylon, do not form rosettes with sheep erythrocytes sensitized with antibody and mouse complement, and are larger than small lymphocytes. These lymphocytes with cold-reactive Fc receptors for serum IgG do not form E-rosettes or respond to phytohemaggutinin. Since L cells do not have surface markers of T and B lymphocytes, it is likely that they comprise a separate population.