We have investigated the relationship between IgG secretion and cell proliferation after polyclonal activation of murine spleen cells with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). It was found that IgG secretion was optimal when cells proliferated extensively. Under those conditions, DNA synthesis commenced 8 to 12 hr after exposure to LPS. Increased proliferative activity was observed up to day 3, when the majority of the lymphoblasts were mitotically active. Two inhibitors of DNA synthesis, thymidine (TdR) and hydroxyurea (HU) caused a reduction in both the IgM and the IgG response, but the latter was more severely reduced. The inhibition was strongest when TdR and HU were added to cultures early after exposure to LPS, indicating that the cells developing to Ig secretion were continuously proliferating. 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) caused a general inhibition of IgM and IgG secretion at high concentrations, and a selective inhibition at low concentrations. The selective inhibition of IgG secretion, when measured on day 4, was also observed after a pulse of BrdU on days 1 and 2. The data suggest that development to IgG secretion is a complex process, which requires several proliferation cycles.

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This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant AI 10293.

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