Both complement receptor positive (CR+) and complement receptor negative (CR-) B cells have been shown to be involved in the primary immune response to PC-Hy (phosphocholine conjugated hemocyanin), a thymus dependent (TD) antigen which preferentially induces antibody secretion in Lyb-5+ B cells during a primary adoptive transfer assay. CR+ and CR- B cells also responded in a primary adoptive transfer assay to TNP-Ficoll, a thymus independent type 2 (TI-2) antigen which activates only Lyb-5+ B cells. When the secondary immune response to PC-Hy and TNP-Ficoll were analyzed, it was found that most of the immune memory to both antigens was present in the CR- B cell subset. The CR- B cell subset also dominated the secondary immune response to PC-Hy in immune defective (CBA/N X DBA/2N)F1 male mice. These data indicate that CR- B cells dominate the memory response in both the Lyb-5+ and Lyb-5- B cell subsets of normal and xid immune defective mice and suggest that Lyb-5+ and Lyb-5- B cells can be subdivided into CR+ and CR- subsets.

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