Letter | Published:

DNA Synthesis by Antibody-forming Cells during the Primary Immune Response

Naturevolume 222pages12951296 (1969) | Download Citation



THE mechanism of the rapid increase in specific antibody-producing cells during the primary immune response may involve cell division, cell “recruitment”, or a combination of both. The use of mitotic blocking agents has indicated that very rapid cell division, stimulated by antigen, alone accounts for the rapid increase in haemolytic plaque-forming cells during the primary response by the mouse to sheep erythrocytes1. Several autoradiographic studies were also interpreted to indicate an antigen-stimulated increase in the rate of division by plaque-forming cells during the primary response2,3. One group has, however, interpreted its own and other autoradiographic data to indicate that antigen does not stimulate more rapid division by plaque-forming cells4,5. Two of these studies2,5 involved examination of plaque-forming cells only, sampled on one day. The other two studies3,4 were severely limited in sensitivity by the technique for examining DNA synthesis—continuous exposure to 3H-thymidine from the time of antigen administration to the time of death.

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    Present address: Division of Biological and Medical Research, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois, 60439


  1. US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Maryland



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