Lymphocytes can enter mitosis when they are activated by mitogens or antigens. B cells specifically can divide when they encounter an antigen matching their immunoglobulin. T cells undergo mitosis when stimulated by mitogens to produce small lymphocytes that are then responsible for the production of lymphokines, which are substances that modify the host organism to improve its immunity. B cells, on the other hand, divide to produce plasma cells when stimulated by mitogens, which then produce immunoglobulins, or antibodies. Mitogens are often used to stimulate lymphocytes and thereby assess immune function. The most commonly used mitogens in clinical laboratory medicine are:
^Barret, James (1980). Basic Immunology and its Medical Application (2 ed.). St.Louis: The C.V. Mosby Company. p. 52-3. ISBN0-8016-0495-8.
^Font-Nieves, M; Sans-Fons, MG (2012). "Induction of COX-2 enzyme and down-regulation of COX-1 expression by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) control prostaglandin E2 production in astrocytes". Journal of Biological Chemistry. 24;287: 6454–68. doi:10.1074/jbc.M111.327874. PMID22219191.
^Casciani, V; Marinoni, E (2008). "Opposite effect of phorbol ester PMA on PTGS2 and PGDH mRNA expression in human chorion trophoblast cells". Reproductive Sciences15: 40–50. doi:10.1177/1933719107309647. PMID18212353.