Ionophorous activity and murine B lymphocyte mitogens

D. L. Rosenstreich, R. Blumenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The relation was studied between ionophorous and B cell mitogenic activities. Most known ionophores were nonmitogenic for mouse spleen cells. In addition, when tested in a bilayer lipid membrane (BLM) apparatus, most types of B cell mitogens were nonionophorous. However, excitability inducing material (EIM), a high m.w. polymeric protein, which is a channel forming ionophore, was a potent mitogen for mouse B lymphocytes. Similarly, keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH), a high m.w. polymeric protein, which is a B cell mitogen, is a channelforming ionophore. The mitogenic activities of these two compounds were not due to contamination with endotoxin since they produced weak or absent responses in the limulus lysate clotting and rabbit pyrogenicity assays, and were also mitogenic for spleen cells of endotoxin low responder C3H/HeJ mice. Both the mitogenic and ionophorous activities of EIM and KLH were dependent on their polymeric structure since dissociation of these compounds into monomeric subunits markedly decreased both activities. However, heat denaturation destroyed their ionophorous ability but preserved their mitogenicity, thereby demonstrating that ionophorous activity was not essential for B cell activation. These data suggest that B cell mitogens do not necessarily act as primary ionophores. However, the authors propose that these molecules intercalate into the lipid portion of the cell membrane, and that this interaction initiates the process of B cell activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1977
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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