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J Immunol. 1989 Feb 15;142(4):1203-8.

Tumor necrosis factor-alpha as a proliferative signal for an IL-2-dependent T cell line: strict species specificity of action.

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Department of Molecular Immunology, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080.


The ability of TNF-alpha to stimulate T cell proliferation was examined. We demonstrate that murine rTNF-alpha induces the proliferation of CT6, a murine T cell line previously thought to be responsive only to IL-2. This activity appears to be the result of the direct action of murine rTNF-alpha on the CT6 cells because neither 1) murine IL-2 or murine IL-4, lymphokines also capable of inducing CT6 proliferation, were detected in culture supernatants from murine rTNF-alpha-treated CT6 cells nor 2) did antibodies specific for IL-2 or IL-4 inhibit murine rTNF-alpha-induced CT6 proliferation. Unlike many of the activities displayed by TNF-alpha, its ability to induce CT6 cell proliferation shows strict species specificity as indicated by the failure of human rTNF-alpha to stimulate these cells. Flow cytometric analysis and binding of radiolabeled TNF-alpha have indicated that receptors for TNF-alpha on these cells are specific for murine TNF-alpha. The ability of murine rTNF-alpha to induce the proliferation of certain T cell lines further indicates that this molecule plays an important role in regulation of T cell-mediated immune responses.

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