Development and characterization of a human B cell line that responds to B cell growth factor but not interleukin 2

C. T.K. Tseng, C. F. Springgate, T. H. Piela, Y. S. Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The human lymphoblastoid cell line we present here proliferated in response to a 14,000 m.w. B cell growth factor (BCGF), and not to interleukin 2 (IL 2). This cell line, designated B-A3, was established by Epstein Barr virus (EBV) transformation of Staphylococcus aureus Cowan I (SAC)-activated spleen B cells, and has been maintained in RPMI 1640 medium complemented with 15% fetal calf serum (FCS) without the addition of other exogenous growth factors. A proliferative response, as measured by [3H]thymidine uptake of B-A3 cells was significantly induced by either commercial IL 2-free human BCGF preparations, or phytohemagglutinin-stimulated mixed lymphocyte culture supernatant at all FCS concentrations used in the assay. The most marked proliferation due to BCGF, however, was observed in the absence of FCS. This BCGF-induced proliferation was not influenced by IL 2 or interferon-γ (IFN-γ), because both recombinant IL 2 and IFN-γ failed to induce proliferation. The response of B-A3 cells to a specific BCGF was additionally indicated by the responsiveness of this cell line to BCGF purified by a series of chromatographic steps. The BCGF to which B-A3 cells responded had a m.w. of 14,000 and was similar to low m.w. BCGF reported from other laboratories. Surface characterization of B-A3 cells, analyzed by flow cytometry with a panel of monoclonal antibodies, demonstrated that the majority of B-A3 cells were stained positively with Leu-12, HLA-DR, and surface IgG markers, whereas staining with surface IgM, IgD markers, pan T cell markers (Leu-4 and Leu-9), and IL 2 receptor (Tac) were consistently negative. Taken together, the human lymphoblastoid cell line we present here responded specifically to a low m.w. BCGF. This cell line may be of value in the purification of BCGF to homogeneity, in studies of the interactions of BCGF with human B cells, and in the identification of the BCGF receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2554-2560
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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