IL-4 induces Thy-1 expression and IgE secretion by LPS--and T cell-stimulated murine B cells in vitro. IFN-gamma inhibits both of these IL-4-mediated effects. IL-4 and IFN-gamma are often exclusively produced by different CD4+ T cell subsets. Injection of mice with a polyclonal goat anti-mouse IgD antibody (GaM delta) stimulates large increases in the serum concentration of IgE through the production of IL-4. Neutralization of endogenous IFN-gamma production in GaM delta-injected mice leads to further increases in serum IgE levels. We show that IL-4 and IFN-gamma, produced after GaM delta injection, respectively, stimulate and inhibit the number of splenic B cells expressing Thy-1 in vivo. Increased numbers of Thy-1-expressing B cells are observed concomitantly with the onset of enhanced IgE secretion. These Thy-1-expressing B cells are highly and selectively enriched for IgE-secreting cells.

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