Role of IL-2 in the generation of CD4+ suppressors of human B cell responsiveness

S. Hirohata, L. S. Davis, P. E. Lipsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The capacity of human T4 cells stimulated by immobilized monoclonal antibodies to the CD3 molecular complex (64.1 and OKT3) to induce and regulate B cell responsiveness was examined. T4 cells stimulated by low concentrations of immobilized 64.1 (3.0 ng/well) and all concentrations of immobilized OKT3 supported B cell proliferation and differentiation. High concentrations of immobilized 64.1 (200 ng/well) failed to stimulate help but rather induced suppression by T4 cells. Suppression was prevented by treating the T4 cells with mitomycin C. Suppression could not be accounted for by deprivation of IL-2. In contrast, induction of suppressor T4 cell activity was closely related to the amount of IL-2 produced by anti-CD3 stimulated T4 cells. Moreover, IL-2 appeared to facilitate the generation of suppressor T4 cell activity. Suppressor cell activity could be generated from unseparated T4 cells as well as from highly purified T4 cell subsets, including Leu 8-, CD45R+, and CD45R- T4 cells, after stimulation with immobilized 64.1. A primary action of suppressor T4 cells appeared to be the direct inhibition of B cell function, as evidenced by the finding that immobilized anti-CD3 activated T4 cells directly suppressed B cell responses stimulated by Staphylococcus aureus and IL-2. Anti-CD3 activated T4 cells did not inhibit initial B cell activation, but suppressed the capacity of the activated B cells to differentiate into ISC. The suppressive influence of anti-CD3 activated T4 cells was reversible as evidenced by the finding that removal of the activated T4 cells from the culture permitted B cell differentiation to proceed. Moreover, anti-CD3-activated T4 cells were able to stimulate initial B cell activation that became apparent when the T cells and B cells were separated. Inhibition of B cell responsiveness by 64.1-activated T4 cells was the result of a block at the G1-S interphase of the cell cycle. The data indicate that anti-CD3-stimulated T4 cells directly and reversibly suppress human B cell function. Moreover, IL-2 appears to play an important role in the differentiation of functionally effective suppressor cells from activated T4 cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3104-3112
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of IL-2 in the generation of CD4+ suppressors of human B cell responsiveness'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this