In the present report an in vitro method for obtaining a secondary human antibody response to a dog kidney cell vaccine against rabies virus (DKCV) is described. Cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from normal rabies-immune and nonimmune donors were stimulated in vitro by DKCV. The production of virus-specific antibody in supernatant fluids was monitored by ELISA. Antibody was produced by lymphocytes from rabies-immune individuals, whereas those of nonimmune subjects consistently failed to produce anti-rabies antibodies after in vitro stimulation with DKCV. The generation of the anti-rabies virus antibody response of lymphocytes stimulated with DKCV was shown to be an antigen-dependent, as well as an antigen-specific process. Optimal antigen-specific responses were observed at relatively low concentrations of antigen (10(-1) to 10(-2) micrograms/culture). At increasing concentrations of antigen in culture (greater than 1 microgram/culture), the anti-rabies virus response was suppressed. Antibody produced upon stimulation was capable of neutralizing rabies virus. The response to rabies virus requires T cell help because lymphocytes depleted of SE rosetting cells did not respond to an antigenic stimulus. Studies in which the same individuals were followed over time showed a sequential development of circulating B cell subsets. The system may provide a model for the study of human B cell differentiation in vivo and in vitro and may be valuable for testing the potency of rabies vaccines in vitro.

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Journal of Immunology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Uytdehaag, F., Osterhaus, A., Loggen, H. G., Bakker, R., van Asten, J., Kreeftenberg, J. G., … van Steenis, B. (1983). Induction of antigen-specific antibody response in human pheripheral blood lymphocytes in vitro by a dog kidney cell vaccine against rabies virus (DKCV). Journal of Immunology, 131(3), 1234–1239. Retrieved from