We compared the effects of adoptively transferred Th cell clones specific for the influenza hemagglutinin (HA), matrix (M), or nucleoprotein (NP) on the antibody response of nude mice infected with A/PR/8/34 influenza virus. We show that the production of antibodies to the HA absolutely requires the presence of virus-specific Th cells. Further, transfer of a Th clone specific for the internal proteins, M or NP, was as effective as was transfer of an HA-specific clone in supporting an antibody response to the HA. With each of the clones, the kinetics of the response were accelerated by approximately 3 d compared with the antibody response of normal BALB/c mice. The HA- and M-specific clones supported an isotype switch from IgM to IgG and IgA similar to that which occurs during a normal antibody response. Finally, as shown by coinfection experiments, the response required a cognate T-B interaction whether the determinants recognized by the Th and B cell are located on the same viral protein or on different viral proteins within the same virus particle. The implications of these findings for understanding the T-B interactions that occur during an effective antiviral antibody response are discussed.

This content is only available as a PDF.