Humoral immune responses were characterized in mouse strains lacking either or both B7 molecules. Mice deficient in both B7-1 and B7-2 failed to generate antigen-specific IgG1 and IgG2a responses and lacked germinal centers when immunized by a number of routes and even in the presence of complete Freund's adjuvant. These results demonstrate that B7-mediated signaling plays a critical role in germinal center formation and immunoglobulin class switching in vivo. Mice lacking only B7-1 or B7-2 mounted high-titer antigen-specific IgG responses when immunized in complete Freund's adjuvant, indicating that B7-1 and B7-2 can have overlapping, compensatory functions for IgG responses. When immunized intravenously without adjuvant, B7-2-deficient mice failed to switch antibody isotypes or form germinal centers, whereas B7-1-deficient mice gave antibody responses comparable with wild-type mice. Thus, B7-2 has an important role in initiating antibody responses in the absence of adjuvant, but the induction of B7-1 by adjuvant in B7-2-deficient mice can compensate for the absence of B7-2.
Borriello, F., Sethna, M. P., Boyd, S. D., Schweitzer, A. N., Tivol, E. A., Jacoby, D., … Sharpe, A. H. (1997). B7-1 and B7-2 have overlapping, critical roles in immunoglobulin class switching and germinal center formation. Immunity, 6(3), 303–313. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1074-7613(00)80333-7