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J Clin Invest. 1985 Dec;76(6):2139-43.

Analysis of helper activity on pokeweed mitogen- and interleukin 2-driven immunoglobulin synthesis by neoplastic T4+ cells.


The neoplastic T cells of a series of seven patients with chronic T-cell neoplasia were tested for helper activity on pokeweed mitogen (PWM)-induced and interleukin 2 (IL-2)-induced Ig synthesis. The neoplastic T cells of all patients had a T3+4+8-11+I1- phenotype but differed in expression of the 3A1 antigen. The neoplastic T cells of three patients had helper activity on both PWM- and IL-2-driven Ig synthesis, and in addition produced IL-2 in response to PWM stimulation. Two of these patients had hypergammaglobulinemia. In contrast, the neoplastic T cells in the remaining four patients did not produce IL-2 and did not support PWM-driven Ig synthesis. The T4+ cells of these four patients, however, provided excellent helper activity on IL-2-driven Ig synthesis. These findings emphasize the role of IL-2 in T cell-dependent Ig synthesis and clearly show that IL-2 production is required for helper activity in the PWM-driven system. It is concluded that the combined use of PWM- and IL-2-driven Ig synthesis systems allows separate analysis of IL-2 production and T-helper activity in health and disease.

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