Analysis of the functional capabilities of CD3+CD4-CD8- and CD3+CD4+CD8+ human T cell clones

S. S. Patel, M. C. Wacholtz, A. D. Duby, Dwain L Thiele, P. E. Lipsky

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67 Scopus citations


The functional capabilities of human peripheral blood CD3+CD4-CD8- and CD3+CD4+CD8+ T cell clones were examined. The clones were generated by culturing purified populations of CD3+CD4-CD8- and CD3+CD4+CD8+ T cells at limiting dilution (0.3 cell/well) in the presence of PHA, rIL-2, and irradiated PBMC as feeders. Twelve CD3+CD4-CD8- and 5 CD3+CD4+CD8+ clones were generated. Clonality was documented by analyzing TCR γ- and β-chain rearrangement patterns. All CD3+CD4-CD8- clones were stained by the TCR-δ1 mAb that identifies a framework epitope of the TCR δ-chain, but not by mAb WT31 that identifies the TCR-αβ on mature T cells. In contrast, the CD3+CD+CD8+ clones were all stained by WT31 and not by TCR-δ1. All 17 clones were screened for various functional activities. Each secreted IL-2, IFN-γ, and lymphotoxin/TNF-like factors when stimulated with immobilized mAb to CD3 (64.1), albeit in varying quantities. These clones secreted far less IL-2 and IFN-γ than CD3+CD4+CD8- or CD3+CD4-CD8+ αβ expressing clones, but comparable amounts of lymphotoxin/TNF. All clones also functioned as MHC-unrestricted cytotoxic cells. This activity was comparable to that mediated by the CD3+CD4+CD8- or CD3+CD4-CD8+ αβ clones. Nine of 12 CD3+CD4-CD8- and 4 of 5 CD3+CD4+CD8+ clones were able to support B cell differentiation when activated by immobilized anti-CD3, but usually not as effectively as the CD3+CD4+CD8- or CD3+CD4-CD8+ αβ clones. The differences in the functional capabilities of the various clones could not be accounted for by alterations in the signaling capacity of the CD3 molecular complex as mAb to CD3 induced comparable increases in intracellular free calcium in each clone examined. When clones were stimulated with PWM, each suppressed B cell differentiation supported by mitomycin C-treated fresh CD4+ T lymphocytes. Suppression was dependent on the number of clone cells added to culture, but could be observed with as few as 12,500 cells per microtiter well. Phenotypic analysis of the clones revealed that all expressed CD29, CD11b, and the NKH1 surface Ag. These results demonstrate that the CD3+CD4-CD8- and CD3+CD4+CD8+ T cell clones exhibit many of the functional characteristics of mature T cells, although they produce IL-2 and IFN-γ and provide help for B cell differentiation less effectively than CD3+CD4+CD8- and CD3+CD4-CD8+ αβ T cell clones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1108-1117
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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