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J Leukoc Biol. 1989 Sep;46(3):214-20.

Activation of human T lymphocytes by crosslinking of anti-CD3 monoclonal antibodies.

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Department of Pathology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90033.


The proliferation of human T lymphocytes induced by anti-CD3 monoclonal antibodies (mAb) is used as a model for antigen-induced activation via the T cell receptor-CD3 complex. Since both systems are accessory cell (AC)-dependent, an understanding of the role of AC in anti-CD3-induced proliferation may provide an understanding of physiological activation via the T cell receptor. Previous work has implicated receptor crosslinking as an important AC function. To determine its necessity in anti-CD3-induced lymphocyte proliferation, we prepared highly purified T lymphocytes and found that these cells did not respond to the anti-CD3 mAb UCHT1, either alone or with interleukin 1 (IL1), interleukin 2 (IL2), or tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate (TPA). However, the response, as measured by appearance of IL2 receptors and proliferation, was restored by crosslinking with immobilized goat anti-mouse antibodies (GAM) and did not require the addition of IL1, IL2, or TPA. Thus, crosslinking of CD3 receptors was a sufficient signal for proliferation of these cells. Cyclosporine A (CsA) inhibited the activation induced by immobilized UCHT1. Since macrophages are the principle targets of CsA-mediated suppression of mitogen-induced proliferation, but macrophages do not participate in the response to immobilized anti-CD3, this may indicate that CsA was inhibiting crosslinking or a signal generated by it.

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