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J Immunol. 1990 Jan 1;144(1):32-40.

Differences in surface phenotype and mechanism of action between alloantigen-specific CD8+ cytotoxic and suppressor T cell clones.

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Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305.


We have previously demonstrated that fresh CD8+ T cells proliferate in response to autologous, alloantigen-primed CD4+ T cells, and differentiate into Ts cells, which inhibit the response of fresh T cells to the primary allogeneic stimulator cell but not irrelevant stimulators. Although such Ts do not have discernible cytolytic activity, like classical cytotoxic T cells (Tc) they express CD3 and CD8 on their surface and function in a class I MHC-restricted manner. Our study was an attempt to compare the surface phenotype and mechanism of action of Ts and Tc clones derived from the same individual. Ts clones were generated from donor JK by repeated stimulation of CD8+ T cells with an autologous CD4+ T inducer line specific for an allogeneic lymphoblastoid cell line (LCL). These clones were noncytolytic for either the inducer line or the allogeneic stimulator LCL. Tc clones, generated by direct stimulation of JK CD8+ T cells with the same allogeneic LCL, mediated potent, alloantigen-specific cytolysis. All Tc clones were alpha, beta TCR+, CD3+, CD4-, CD8+, CD11b-, and CD28+. Ts clones were also alpha, beta TCR+, CD3+, and CD8+, but in contrast to Tc clones, Ts clones were CD11b+ and CD28-. When added to MLR both Ts and Tc clones inhibited the response of fresh JK CD4+ T cells to the original but not irrelevant allogeneic LCL. However, Ts inhibited the response of only those CD4+ T cells that shared class I)MHC determinants with the Ts donor, whereas Tc inhibited the response of CD4+ T cells from all responders, regardless of HLA type. Pretreatment of Ts clones with mAb to CD2, CD3, or CD8 blocked suppression, whereas similar pretreatment of Tc clones blocked cytotoxicity in 4-h 51Cr release assays but had no effect on Tc-mediated suppression of the MLR. These results suggest that both Ts and Tc clones can inhibit the MLR but they do so through different mechanisms. Moreover, the maintenance of distinct surface phenotypes on these long term clones suggests that Ts may be a distinct sublineage of CD8+ T cells rather than a variant of CD8+ Tc.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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