Journal of Leukocyte Biology vol:78 issue:5 pages:1060-1069
The capsular polysaccharides (caps-PS) of Streptococcus pneumoniae are classified as thymus-independent antigens. Nevertheless, T lymphocytes can modulate the antibody response to caps-PS. In this study, we show that anticytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4) treatment, along with administration of caps-PS to BALB/c mice, resulted in a dose-dependent generation of a strong caps-PS-specific antibody response. Anti-CTLA-4 treatment had no effect on the immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibody production in athymic nu/nu mice. Anti-CTLA-4 treatment stimulated the IgG antibody production in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)/SCID mice reconstituted with CTLA-4(-/-) B lymphocytes and wild-type T lymphocytes. This excluded the possibility that anti-CTLA-4 enhanced antibody production by direct interaction with B lymphocytes. Anti-CTLA-4 treatment enhanced the antibody production in SCID/SCID mice reconstituted with B lymphocytes and CD4(+) and CD8(+) T lymphocytes but not in SCID/SCID mice reconstituted with B lymphocytes in the absence of CD4(+) and/or CD8(+) cells. Administration of anti-CTLA-4 in BALB/c mice but not in nu/nu mice resulted in a markedly increased production of interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, and interferon-gamma. Taken together, these data strongly suggest a role of T lymphocytes and CTLA-4 in the regulation of the antibody response to caps-PS.