Intraclonal competition inhibits the formation of high-affinity antibody-secreting cells

Academic Article


  • Protective immunity requires a diverse, polyclonal B cell repertoire. We demonstrate that affinity maturation of the humoral response to a hapten is impaired when preexisting clonally restricted cells recognizing the hapten are dominant in the B cell repertoire. B1-8i+/- mice, which feature a high frequency of B cells with nitrophenyl (NP)-binding specificity, respond to NP-haptenated proteins with the production of NP-specific Abs, but affinity maturation is impaired due to insufficient generation of high-affinity Ab-producing cells. We manipulated the frequency of NP-specific B cells by adoptive transfer of B1-8 B cells into naive, wild-type recipients. Remarkably, when 104 B1-8 B cells were transferred, these cells supported efficient affinity maturation and plasma cell differentiation. In contrast, when 106 B1-8 cells were transferred, affinity maturation did not occur. These data indicate that restricting the frequency of clonally related B cells is required to support affinity maturation. Copyright © 2008 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Le TVL; Tea HK; Chaplin DD
  • Start Page

  • 6027
  • End Page

  • 6037
  • Volume

  • 181
  • Issue

  • 9