Modulation of the immune response by antibacterial antibodies

R. Hamers, J. Grooten, M. Vaeck, S. Segal, P. De Baetselier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Antibodies induced by the gram+ bacteria Micrococcus lysodeikticus exhibit different carbohydrate specificities and hence might cross-react with membrane glycoproteins and/or glycolipids of mammalian cells. Using a T cell derived lymphoid line, these antibodies were found to detect a membrane marker which is only exposed in confluent culture conditions on non-dividing cells. Such confluence related antigen (Cag) is a cryptic membrane antigen, which can be unmasked through membrane perturbating agents such as p-formaldehyde or through interactions with macrophages and macrophage derived factors. Anti-micrococcus antibodies appear also to affect functionally normal T lymphocytes. Thus such reagents drastically inhibit the murine T cell reactivity towards mitogens such as Con A and PHA provided, however, the mitogenic signal is delivered through peritoneal macrophages. Furthermore, anti-micrococcus antibodies induce activated T lymphocytes into mitogenesis, but not unprimed resting T cells. Hence the physiological activity of anti-micrococcus antibodies depends on the state of activation of the T lymphocyte, indicating the involvement of cryptic membrane molecules. The relevance of such phenomena to host-bacteria and host-parasite interaction will be discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-187
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Respiratory Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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