The ability of T cells to enhance the response of syngeneic and allogeneic B cells to thymus-dependent hapten-carrier conjugates was analyzed. This analysis was carried out on individual primary B cells in splenic fragment cultures derived from irradiated reconstituted mice. This system has several advantages: (a) the response of the B cells is entirely dependent on carrier priming of the irradiated recipient; (b) this B-cell response can be quantitated in terms of the number of responding cells; and (c) very small B-cell responses can be readily detected and analyzed. The results indicate that the majority of hapten-specific B cells were stimulated in allogeneic and syngeneic recipients only if these recipients were previously carrier primed. The number of B cells responding in carrier-primed allogeneic recipients was 60-70% of that in syngeneic carrier-primed recipients. The antibody-forming cell clones resulting from B cells stimulated in the allogeneic environment produced small amounts of antibody and antibody solely of the IgM immunoglobulin class, while the larger responses in syngeneic recipients were predominantly IgG1 or IgM plus IgG1. The capacity of collaborative interactions between carrier-primed T cells and primary B cells to yield IgG1 antibody-producing clones was shown to be dependent on syngeny between these cells in the H-2 gene complex. It is concluded that: (a) B cells can be triggered by T-dependent antigens to clone formation through collaboration with T cells which differ at the H-2 complex as long as these T cells recognize the antigen; (b) the immunoglobulin class produced by the progeny of stimulated B cells generally depends on the nature of the stimulatory event rather than the nature of the B cell itself; and (c) stimulation to IgG1 production is dependent on syngeny between the collaborating T and B cells probably within the Ir-1A region. The role of the Ia antigens in the formation of IgG1-producing clones is not yet clear; Ia identity could permit IgG1 production or, conversely, nonidentity of Ia could induce all allogeneic interactions which prohibit IgG1 production.

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