Antibodies to nonpolymorphic determinants of the Thy-1 molecule inhibit T cell proliferation

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The effect of anti-Thy-1 monoclonal antibodies on murine mixed lymphocyte reactions and concanavalin A-induced mitogenesis were investigated. It is demonstrated that rat antibodies against nonpolymorphic determinants of the murine Thy-1 antigen inhibited cell proliferation in the absence of complement. In contrast, antibodies against polymorphic determinants of Thy-1 had no effect on T cell activation. Inhibition of T cell proliferation did not depend on the isotype of the blocking antibody, because both IgM and IgG antibodies against monomorphic determinants were inhibitory, whereas IgM or IgG antibodies against allotypic determinants were inactive. In addition, the blocking activity could not be attributed to the xenogeneic (rat) origin of the antibodies to nonpolymorphic Thy-1 determinants, because rat anti-Thy-1.2 antibodies had no effect on cell activation. Thus, the efficacy of anti-Thy-1 antibodies as T cell inhibitors was determined by the antibody specificity. The suppressive mechanism of anti-Thy-1 antibodies was effective throughout the entire course of mixed lymphocyte reactions. Addition of antibodies at any time point during the first 90 hr of a 120-hr mixed lymphocyte culture resulted in significant suppression of the proliferative response. However, in some cases an early enhancement preceded suppression of the response. The modulation of proliferative responses by anti-Thy-1 did not result from a nonspecific mitogenic effect of the antibodies on T lymphocytes, because no effects were observed when antibodies were added to responder cells alone. These results suggest that the Thy-1 molecule, or a molecule that is located on the cell membrane in close proximity to the Thy-1 antigen, is involved in the activation of T lymphocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2916-2921
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1985


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