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Past studies have shown that freshly isolated human B cells from peripheral blood and tonsils do not express IL-6 receptors (IL-6R); however, mitogen or antigen activation of these B cells induces IL-6R and responsiveness to IL-6. In this study, we have shown that a high proportion of B cells enzymatically dissociated from human appendix, a gut-associated lymphoreticular tissue (GALT), expresses the IL-6R, and that recombinant human IL-6 induces significant increases in the number of Ig-producing cells. The recombinant human IL-6-induced increase in Ig-producing cells is restricted to the IgA isotype. Further, IgA2 is the major subclass; however, significant numbers of IgA1 producing cells are also seen. In contrast, human tonsillar and peripheral blood B cells express low levels of IL-6R, and exogenous IL-6 does not increase numbers of Ig-producing cells. When PBMC or tonsillar cells are stimulated with PWM, the former display an equal distribution of IgA1 and IgA2 secreting cells, while tonsillar B cells are mainly of the IgA1 subclass. The distribution of surface Ig-positive (sIg+) B cells in the appendix B cell population is sIgA+ greater than sIgG+ greater than sIgM+, and the sIgA+ B cells express higher levels of IL-6R when compared with sIgG+ or sIgM+ B cells. These studies show that human appendix contains B cell subsets that constitutively express IL-6R, and that a high proportion of these cells are committed to the IgA isotype. Furthermore, higher numbers of IL-6 responsive IgA2 B cells are present in the human appendix as compared to tonsils or PBMC.


K Fujihashi, J R McGhee, C Lue, K W Beagley, T Taga, T Hirano, T Kishimoto, J Mestecky, H Kiyono


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Citations to this article in year 2011 (2)

Title and authors Publication Year
The Appendix May Protect Against Clostridium difficile Recurrence
GY Im, RJ Modayil, CT Lin, SJ Geier, DS Katz, M Feuerman, JH Grendell
Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2011
Aging Impairs Murine B Cell Differentiation and Function in Primary and Secondary Lymphoid Tissues
D Frasca, BB Blomberg
Aging and disease 2011