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J Immunol. 1987 Mar 15;138(6):1660-6.

Accessory cell independent proliferation of human T4 cells stimulated by immobilized monoclonal antibodies to CD3.


The capacity of the monoclonal antibodies (Mab) 64.1 and OKT3 directed at CD3 molecules to induce T4 cell proliferation and interleukin 2 (IL 2) production was examined. Each was tested in soluble form or was immobilized by adhering it to the wells of plastic microtiter wells. Soluble anti-CD3 did not induce proliferation of accessory cell (AC)-depleted T4 cells. In contrast, immobilized anti-CD3 induced T4 cell IL 2 production and proliferation in the complete absence of AC. When T4 cells were stimulated with high density immobilized anti-CD3, responses did not require AC, IL 2, or Mab directed at the Tp44 molecule (9.3). In contrast, responses stimulated by lower densities of immobilized anti-CD3 were enhanced by IL 2, AC, and 9.3, and with even lower densities of immobilized anti-CD3 proliferation, required these additional signals. A variety of other immobilized Mab directed at T cell surface proteins including class I major histocompatibility complex encoded gene products, CD2, CD5, 4F2, and Tp44, did not induce proliferation even in the presence of IL 2. Anti-CD4 Mab (66.1) inhibited immobilized anti-CD3-stimulated T4 cell responses, with a greater degree of inhibition noted when lower densities of immobilized anti-CD3 were used to stimulate T4 cells. The data demonstrate that stimulation of T4 cells by anti-CD3 is completely AC independent when the antibody is immobilized onto a surface. Furthermore, the results indicate that maximal stimulation requires multiple interactions with anti-CD3 without internalization of the CD3 molecule. The observation that additional signals are required to support T4 cell proliferation when the density of immobilized anti-CD3 is diminished suggests that these are necessary only when insufficient interactions with the CD3 molecule have occurred to transmit a maximal activation signal to the cell. Finally, the results indicate that anti-CD4 provides a direct inhibitory signal to the T4 cell, the effect of which is inversely proportional to the intensity of the activation signal.

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