Expression of p70/75 IL-2-binding molecules and their functional roles in induction of Ig secretion by IL-2 were examined in human B cells. IL-2, at high concentrations induced higher levels of Ig secretion in Staphylococcus aureus strain Cowan I (SAC)-activated B cells than at low concentrations. About 50% of SAC-activated B cells, lacking Tac antigen, were also responsive to Ig secretion by IL-2, although the required dose of IL-2 was higher than that for Tac-positive B cells. H-31 antibody which recognizes Tac antigen did not inhibit the induction of Ig secretion by high concentrations of IL-2 in both Tac-negative and Tac-positive B cells, suggesting that IL-2 might induce Ig secretion through a receptor distinct from Tac antigens. In contrast, IL-2 was ineffective in the absence of SAC stimulation even at high concentrations. Upon analysis by SDS-PAGE, p70/75 IL-2-binding molecules were detected on Tac-negative SAC-activated B cells. Similar IL-2-binding molecules distinct from Tac antigen (p55) were detected in both Tac-positive B and T cells. However, neither p55 nor p70/75 IL-2-binding molecules could be detected in the absence of SAC stimulation. These observations suggest that p70/75 IL-2 binding molecules are induced in human B-cells in the presence or absence of Tac antigen by SAC stimulation and these determinants play an important function in the transduction of IL-2 associated signal for B cell differentiation.

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