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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Jan 1;89(1):271-5.

Murine B7 antigen provides an efficient costimulatory signal for activation of murine T lymphocytes via the T-cell receptor/CD3 complex.

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Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.


We demonstrate that the murine B7 (mB7) protein is a potent costimulatory molecule for the activation of resting murine CD4+ T cells through the T-cell receptor (TCR)/CD3 complex. Stable mB7-transfected Chinese hamster ovary cells, but not vector-transfected controls, synergize with anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody and Con A-induced T-cell activation, resulting ultimately in proliferation. mB7 exerted its effect by inducing production of interleukin 2 and expression of the interleukin 2 receptor. Thus, mB7 costimulates T-cell activation through the TCR/CD3 complex by positively modulating the normal pathway of T-cell expansion. In contrast to the pronounced effect of mB7 on the activation of T cells through the TCR/CD3 complex, the mB7-transfected CHO cell line costimulated T-cell activation via the glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored proteins Thy-1 and Ly-6A.2 only inefficiently. Finally, the combination of a calcium ionophore and mB7 is not sufficient to cause T-cell proliferation, while the combination of a calcium ionophore and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) stimulates T cells efficiently. The signals that mB7 and PMA provide for murine T lymphocyte activation are therefore not interchangeable, although both costimulate activation through the TCR/CD3 complex.

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