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Induction of B cell tolerance or activation was analyzed with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) glycoprotein (G) expressed as a neo-self Ag. A membrane form of VSV-G expressed in all tissues, including the bone marrow, induced unresponsiveness at both the Th and B cell level, whereas a soluble form of VSV-G expressed peripherally in liver and kidney did not tolerize B cells and only reversibly anergized Th cells. Interestingly, a similar correlation was found for activation of mature lymphocytes. When mature normal spleen cells were transferred into the two transgenic mouse lines, the membrane form of VSV-G was strongly immunogenic for both Th and B cells, and high VSV-G-specific IgG Ab titers were induced in these transgenic mice. In contrast, spleen cells transferred into mice expressing the soluble form of VSV-G were not activated, and no VSV-G specific Abs were induced. These results indicate that highly immunogenic Ags are strongly tolerogenic for both immature B and T cells.


Journal article


Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Publication Date





5106 - 5111


Institute for Experimental Immunology, Department of Pathology, University of Zurich, Switzerland.


B-Lymphocytes, Animals, Mice, Transgenic, Mice, Immunoglobulin G, Membrane Glycoproteins, Viral Envelope Proteins, Antigens, Viral, Lymphocyte Activation, Immune Tolerance, Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus