Biological Response Modifiers. New Approaches to Disease by Paul F. Torrence

By Paul F. Torrence

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It is k n o w n that i m m a t u r e Β cells can be m a d e tolerant more easily t h a n mature Β cells. One possible mechanism by which tolerance to self-antigens may arise is t h r o u g h the limited capacity of Βμ cells (Section II,A,3) to resynthesize antigen receptors. Exposure of immature Βμ cells to antigen leads to capping and subsequent shedding of antigen-specific receptors. After 1 to 3 days, Β μ cells no longer have receptors or respond to antigen. Thus, the presence of self-antigens during maturation of the immune system may lead to paralysis of self-directed Β cells.

In contrast to lymphokines (Section V,D), which have no antigenic specificity, these regulatory factors have the same specificity for antigen as their T-cell parents. Some, but not all, carry idiotypic determinants and other determinants carried by the variable region of the antibody heavy-chain molecule. However, whether these factors are truly secreted by cells in vivo and are physiologically significant remains to be established. D. Antigen-Nonspecific Factors Many different cell types have the capacity to synthesize and secrete specific cell products in response to specific stimulation.

Monocytes can " t a k e residence" in tissues, where they become mature macrophages, but monocytes may also be " r e c r u i t e d " to tissues and differentiate into mature macrophages during the immune response (Fig. 6). Macrophages have receptors for complement and for the Fc portion of immunoglobulins, elevated levels of lysosomal enzymes, and, they are more active in phagocytosis t h a n monocytes. Monocytes may also fuse and become multinucleated giant cells. W h e n associated with different tissues, macrophages are given different names.

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