Absence of lipopolysaccharide high-dose paralysis in B-cell responses: Implications for the one-signal theory Academic Article uri icon


  • Over 20 years ago, Coutinho and Möller reported that high concentrations of LPS were paralytic for the development of antibody secreting cells (ASC). This data was used to explain bell-shaped dose-response curves observed for antihapten antibody formation in response to haptenated LPS. In turn, this bell curve was used to formulate the one-signal model of B cell activation, which argued that antigen signalling was generally unimportant to B cell responses. The present paper re-examines LPS dose-response curves and finds results that do not support the view that high doses of LPS inhibit B cell differentiation to ASC. If high-dose paralysis is not an attribute of LPS stimulation, then the bell-shaped dose curve for hapten-specific ASC originally observed by Coutinho and Möller required an alternative explanation. Through the use of haptenated Ficoll, it was possible to show that the generation of LPS-induced antitrinitrophenol ASC could be inhibited by antigen presented on an inert substrate. Thus, the transmission of surface Ig-mediated (antigen) signals at higher concentrations can explain the antihapten bell-shaped dose curves, in contradiction to the conclusions of the one-signal model.

publication date

  • April 2000