During antigen-induced immune responses, human B cells switch isotype from immunoglobulin M (IgM)-IgD to IgG1-4, IgA1-2, or IgE. In the human, no cytokines have yet been demonstrated to act as switch factors for IgG1, IgG2, and IgG3. In this paper, we report that in response to interleukin 10 (IL-10), anti-CD40 activated tonsillar surface IgD+ (sIgD+) B cells are induced to secrete large amounts of IgM, IgG1, and IgG3 but neither IgG2 nor IgG4. Cord blood purified B cells and lymphocytes from Hyper-IgM patients also produced IgG1 and IgG3 after culture with anti-CD40 and IL-10. In contrast, sIgD- isotype-committed B cells produce IgG1, IgG2, and IgG3 when activated through CD40 in the presence of IL-10. Thus, in addition to its growth-promoting and differentiating activities on human B cells, IL-10 may represent a switch factor for IgG1 and IgG3.

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