To gain insight into how T cell-derived lymphokines induce the secretion of IgG in activated B cells, we performed a limiting dilution analysis, using murine splenic B cells incubated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and a T cell-derived B cell differentiating factor for IgG (BCDF gamma)-containing supernatant (SN). The results of this analysis indicate that such a SN induces a marked increase in the precursor frequency of IgG1-secreting cells and a modest increase in clone size. The precursors lack surface IgG and are committed to the differentiation pathway for IgG1 secretion after LPS activation, but before the addition of BCDF gamma-containing SN. The majority of IgG1-secreting clones arise independently from precursors of cells that secrete IgG3. Taken together, these results indicate that BCDF gamma directs differentiation of activated B cells to IgG1 secretion.

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