In mammals, conventional B (B2) cells are activated within lymphoid follicles through a close relationship with T follicular helper (Tfh) cells. The interaction between CD40 expressed on B cells and its ligand (CD40L) expressed on Tfh cells is a key signal that regulates the formation of germinal centers (GCs), B cell survival, proliferation and differentiation to plasma cells (PCs) or memory cells. Additionally, certain soluble cytokines produced by T cells also strongly condition the outcome of this interaction. Despite the many differences found between fish B cells and mammalian B2 cells, and the lack of conventional GCs, rainbow trout IgM+ B cells have been shown to be stimulated by CD40L, however, whether cytokines commonly produced by T cells can further modulate this response has never been addressed to date. Thus, in this study, we determined the effects of recombinant rainbow trout adaptive cytokines interleukin 2B (IL-2B), IL-4/13A, IL-4/13B, IL-10 and IL-21 (cytokines known to activate B cells in mammals) on splenic IgM+ B cells alone or in combination with CD40L. We studied how these cytokines and CD40L cooperated to promote IgM+ B cell survival, proliferation and IgM secretion. The results obtained provide valuable information for the first time in teleost fish on how different T cell signals cooperate to activate B cells in the absence of GCs.
- B cells