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The in vitro antibody response of mouse spleen cells to TNP coupled to both T-dependent and T-independent carriers as well as to sheep erythrocytes has been studied to investigate the possible role of complement activation in the induction of antibody formation. The following has been found. (1) In vitro responses of both IgM and IgG can be obtained to both T-dependent and T-independent antigens in serum-free media, although they are smaller than those found in serum-containing media. This shows that no exogenous source of complement is necessary for in vitro antibody formation by spleen cells. (2) Similarly, normal antibody responses are obtained if the cultures are grown in human serum depleted of C3b-inactivator, which contains high concentrations of C3b. (3) In the presence of antibody to mouse C3 the response to the T-independent antigen is reduced, the IgM responses being more affected than the IgG. However, purified F(ab')2 anti-C3 has no inhibitory effect and it therefore seems likely that it is the formation of intact immune complexes containing Fc rather than the interference with C3 function that is responsible for the inhibition seen. (4) The conventionally purified anti-complementary factor from cobra venom has no effect on the antibody response in serum-free culture or when human or fetal calf sera are used. In no experiment was any potentiation of T-dependent responses observed. However, the presence of quite small concentrations (2%) of cobra veno

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Immunol

Publication Date





185 - 193


Animals, Antibodies, Neoplasm, Antibody Formation, Antigens, Neoplasm, B-Lymphocytes, Carrier Proteins, Cell Line, Complement C3, Complement System Proteins, Erythrocytes, Formaldehyde, Haptens, Humans, Immune Adherence Reaction, Immunoglobulin G, Immunoglobulin M, Melanoma, Mice, Mice, Inbred Strains, Snake Venoms, Spleen, Surface Properties, T-Lymphocytes