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J Immunol. 1989 Aug 1;143(3):907-12.

Production of lymphokine mRNA by CD45R+ and CD45R- helper T cells from human peripheral blood and by human CD4+ T cell clones.

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  • 1Department of Rheumatology, Medical School, University of Birmingham, UK.


The expression of lymphokine mRNA by human CD4+CD45R+ and CD4+CD45R- Th cells was assessed after mitogen stimulation. These Ag have previously been shown to relate closely to virgin and primed T cells, respectively. CD4+CD45R+ (virgin) and CD4+CD45R- (primed) cell fractions were isolated by sorting double-labeled cells with a fluorescence-activated cell sorter. CD4+CD45R+ cells produced high levels of IL-2 mRNA when stimulated with either PMA together with calcium ionophore, or with PHA, but they expressed only trace quantities of mRNA for IL-4 or IFN-gamma. In contrast, CD4+CD45R- cells produced high levels of mRNA for IL-2, IL-4, and IFN-gamma. After 14 days of continuous culture, CD4+CD45R+ Th cells lost expression of the CD45R Ag, but gained high level expression of CDw29, such that they were indistinguishable from the cell population which originally expressed this Ag. At the same time, they acquired the ability to synthesize IL-4 mRNA. It seemed likely that the broad lymphokine profile of primed Th cells might mask clonal heterogeneity. Analysis of 122 CD4+ T cell clones showed that all of them synthesized IL-2 mRNA. One clone failed to express IL-4 mRNA, but did produce those for IL-2 and IFN-gamma. A total of 34 of the clones was investigated to determine expression of IFN-gamma mRNA; two of these clones were negative for IFN-gamma mRNA, and both expressed IL-2 and IL-4 message. These data suggest that while fresh virgin and primed peripheral blood T cells show a clear resolution of lymphokine production, a simple subdivision of human CD4+ T cell clones on the basis of their lymphokine production (such as that reported for mouse Th cell clones) is not possible.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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