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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

Print version ISSN 0100-879XOn-line version ISSN 1414-431X


Association between polyclonal B cell activation and the presence of autoantibodies in mice infected with Yersinia enterocolitica O:3. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 1997, vol.30, n.3, pp.401-405. ISSN 1414-431X.

Eight-week old conventional female Swiss mice were inoculated intravenously with Yersinia enterocolitica O:3. A second group of normal mice was used as control. Five mice from each group were bled by heart puncture and their spleens were removed for spleen cell collection on the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 10th, 14th and 21st day after infection. Immunoglobulin-secreting spleen cells were detected by the isotype-specific protein A plaque assay. Total immunoglobulin levels were determined in mouse serum by single radial immunodiffusion and the presence of autoantibodies was determined by ELISA. We observed a marked increase in the total number of cells secreting immunoglobulins of all isotypes as early as on the 3rd day post-infection and the peak of secretion occurred on the 7th day. At the peak of the immunoglobulin response, the total number of secreting cells was 19 times higher than that of control mice and most immunoglobulin-secreting cells were of the IgG2a isotype. On the 10th day post-infection, total serum immunoglobulin values were 2 times higher in infected animals when compared to the control group, and continued at this level up to the 21st day post-infection. Serum absorption with viable Y. enterocolitica cells had little effect on antibody levels detected by single radial immunodiffusion. Analysis of serum autoantibody levels revealed that Y. enterocolitica infection induced an increase of anti-myosin and anti-myelin immunoglobulins. The sera did not react with collagen. The present study demonstrates that Y. enterocolitica O:3 infection induces polyclonal activation of murine B cells which is correlated with the activation of some autoreactive lymphocyte clones

Keywords : Yersinia enterocolitica; polyclonal activation; experimental infection; autoantibodies.

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