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Immunology. 1989 Sep;68(1):45-50.

Immobilized anti-CD3 monoclonal antibodies induce accessory cell-independent lymphokine production, proliferation and helper activity in human T lymphocytes.

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Central Laboratory of The Netherlands Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service, Amsterdam.


Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) directed against the human CD3 molecular complex are able, when immobilized on the plastic of microtitre wells, to induce accessory cell-independent T-cell proliferation. In this study, we show that the anti-CD3 mAb CLB-T3/3 induces strong T-cell stimulation that is proportional to the density of the immobilized antibody. T cells, optimally stimulated with plastic-immobilized CLB-T3/3, showed a five-fold higher proliferation compared to cells that were stimulated with soluble anti-CD3 in the presence of accessory cells. The difference in magnitude of proliferation was found to be correlated with the expression of the CD25 (TAC) antigen and the production of interleukin (IL)-2, but not with the number of high-avidity IL-2 receptors expressed on the surface of these differentially activated cells. In addition, immobilized CLB-T3/3 initiated the production of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), but not of IL-4, in purified T lymphocytes. Coated anti-CD3 mAb induced helper activity in T cells for IgM and IgG production by B lymphocytes. Whereas addition of IL-1 or IL-2 had only a moderate effect on T-cell proliferation induced by immobilized anti-CD3 mAb, helper activity was strongly enhanced in the presence of these factors. This T-cell activation system may prove useful for a standardized analysis of both activation requirements and immunoregulatory capacities of human T cells.

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