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J Immunol. 1991 Nov 1;147(9):2868-74.

Some cloned murine CD4+ T cells recognize H-2Ld class I MHC determinants directly. Other cloned CD4+ T cells recognize H-2Ld class I MHC determinants in the context of class II MHC molecules.

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Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, IL 60637.


Murine T lymphocytes recognize nominal Ag presented by class I or class II MHC molecules. Most CD8+ T cells recognize Ag presented in the context of class I molecules, whereas most CD4+ cells recognize Ag associated with class II molecules. However, it has been shown that a proportion of T cells recognizing class I alloantigens express CD4 surface molecules. Furthermore, CD4+ T cells are sufficient for the rejection of H-2Kbm10 and H-2Kbm11 class I disparate skin grafts. It has been suggested that the CD4 component of an anti-class I response can be ascribed to T cells recognizing class I determinants in the context of class II MHC products. To examine the specificity and effector functions of class I-specific HTL, CD4+ T cells were stimulated with APC that differed from them at a class I locus. Specifically, a MLC was prepared involving an allogeneic difference only at the Ld region. CD4+ clones were derived by limiting dilution of bulk MLC cells. Two clones have been studied in detail. The CD4+ clone 46.2 produced IL-2, IL-3, and IFN-gamma when stimulated with anti-CD3 mAb, whereas the CD4+ clone 93.1 secreted IL-4 in addition to IL-2, IL-3, and IFN-gamma. Cloned 46.2 cells recognized H-2Ld directly, whereas recognition of Ld by 93.1 apparently was restricted by class II MHC molecules. Furthermore, cytolysis by both clones 46.2 and 93.1 was inhibited by the anti-CD4 mAb GK1.5. These results demonstrate that CD4+ T cells can respond to a class I difference and that a proportion of CD4+ T cells can recognize class I MHC determinants directly as well as in the context of class II MHC molecules.

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