Highly purified small splenic CBA/N B cells show little or no proliferative response to LPS, soluble anti-Ig, LPS plus anti-Ig, or anti-Ig plus the B cell stimulatory factor BSF-1. An excellent proliferative response is obtained, however, if CBA/N B cells are cultured concurrently with LPS, anti-Ig, and a supernatant rich in T cell-derived lymphokines. The pertinent T cell-derived CBA/N B cell co-stimulating factor has the same m.w., isoelectric point range, and hydrophobicity as BSF-1, and co-migrates with BSF-1 throughout a two-step biochemical scheme developed for BSF-1 purification. These data therefore suggest that CBA/N B cells respond to a BSF-1-like lymphokine under appropriate activation conditions. In support of this conclusion, separate experiments demonstrated that unstimulated small CBA/N B cells respond to HPLC-purified BSF-1 by increased expression of membrane-bound class II major histocompatibility antigens. Taken together, these findings indicate that small CBA/N B cells express the receptor for a factor resembling BSF-1, and acquire the capacity to proliferate in response to anti-Ig and this BSF-1-like factor when co-stimulated with LPS.

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