B cells promote resistance to heterosubtypic strains of influenza via multiple mechanisms

Academic Article


  • Immunity to heterosubtypic strains of influenza is thought to be mediated primarily by memory T cells, which recognize epitopes in conserved proteins. However, the involvement of B cells in this process is controversial. We show in this study that influenza-specific memory T cells are insufficient to protect mice against a lethal challenge with a virulent strain of influenza in the absence of B cells. B cells contribute to protection in multiple ways. First, although non-neutralizing Abs by themselves do not provide any protection to challenge infection, they do reduce weight loss, lower viral titers, and promote recovery of mice challenged with a virulent heterosubtypic virus in the presence of memory T cells. Non-neutralizing Abs also facilitate the expansion of responding memory CD8 T cells. Furthermore, in cooperation with memory T cells, naive B cells also promote recovery from infection with a virulent heterosubtypic virus by generating new neutralizing Abs. These data demonstrate that B cells use multiple mechanisms to promote resistance to heterosubtypic strains of influenza and suggest that vaccines that elicit both memory T cells and Abs to conserved epitopes of influenza may be an effective defense against a wide range of influenza serotypes. Copyright © 2007 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 1039915
  • Author List

  • Rangel-Moreno J; Carragher DM; Misra RS; Kusser K; Hartson L; Moquin A; Lund FE; Randall TD
  • Start Page

  • 454
  • End Page

  • 463
  • Volume

  • 180
  • Issue

  • 1