B cell superantigens

Other microbial substances act as superantigens by binding to the B cell antigen receptors outside the antigen binding site. Staphylococcus aureus-&er'wzd protein A is the prototype for this interaction at the B cell level. Polymerized protein A induces strong B cell proliferation and Ig secretion in conjunction with cytokines such as IL-2. Superantigens are polyclonal activators but, rather than stimulating protective immunity, they could deviate the B cell response away from important antigens in the interest of the microorganism.

See also: B lymphocyte activation; B lymphocyte repertoire; B lymphocyte, antigen processing and presentation; CD5; CD40 and its ligand; Cytokines; Endotoxin (lipopoiysaccharide (LPS)); Germinal center; Helper T lymphocytes; Immunoglobulin class switching; Innate immunity; Lectins; Memory, immunological; Polyclonal activators; Selectins (CD62-E/L/P); Somatic mutation; Superantigens; Vaccines.

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