Letter | Published:

Carrier preimmunisation in the anti-hapten response of a marine fish

Abstract

A STRONG antibody response in mammals and birds requires collaboration of two types of antigen-recognising lymphocytes, T and B. Only the B lymphocyte gives rise to antibody-producing plasma cells. This concept is partly based on the observed synergistic effect of thymic (non-B) cells and bone marrow (non-T) cells in antibody responses1–3. Another line of evidence comes from immunisation with an antigen having several antigenic determinants such as A–B–C–D, which can be separated into portions. A strong synergistic effect in an antibody response against A is found by combining lymphocytes primed with one part of the antigen (B–C–D = carrier) with lymphocytes primed with another part (A = hapten) and challenging the mixture with A–B–C–D (refs 4 and 5). T lymphocytes seem to be the relevant cells in the carrier-primed population6.

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References

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