Fc fragments derived from human immunoglobulin were found to be capable of inducing both a proliferative and polyclonal antibody response in human peripheral blood lymphocyte cultures. The cell population proliferating in response to Fc fragments belongs to the B cell lineage. Expression of polyclonal antibody formation requires the presence of both adherent monocytes and T cells. The role of the monocyte is to enzymatically cleave the Fc fragment into 19,000 mol wt Fc subfragments that are then able to induce polyclonal antibody secretion. Stimulation of polyclonal antibody production by Fc subfragments occurs in the absence of adherent monocytes but still requires the presence of T cells.

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