The ability of the monoclonal antibody directed at the T3 antigen (anti-T3) to induce cytolytic activity was investigated since several agents that can activate T cells induce the acquisition of cytolytic activity in a variety of test systems. Pretreatment of human alloimmune memory cells, generated in primary long-term mixed lymphocyte cultures, with anti-T3 resulted in the induction of statistically significant specific secondary cytolytic activity and natural killer (NK) cell-like activity. No such augmentation or induction of cytolytic activity was found with anti-T3 pretreatment when syngeneic cells or inappropriate allogeneic cells (HLA-A, B antigens different from the original priming stimulus) were used as target cells and pretreatment of memory cells with anti-T4 or anti-T8 did not induce cytolytic activity to allogeneic or syngeneic target cells. Differential effects were observed when anti-T3 was added to the cytotoxicity assay in which anti-T3 pretreated alloimmune memory cells were effectors. The addition of anti-T3 to the assay prior to the introduction of target cells resulted in 39 +/- 8% inhibition of specific secondary cytolytic activity and only 5 +/- 8% inhibition of NK cell activity. NK cell activity mediated by large granular lymphocyte-enriched fraction of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBM) obtained from normal individuals was significantly augmented by anti-T3 when NK-sensitive cell lines MOLT-4 or K-562 were used as target cells. This augmentation in NK cell activity was not associated with nonspecific cytotoxicity to syngeneic or allogeneic PBM, and anti-T3 failed to activate the LGL fraction depleted of T cells. The monoclonal antibodies, anti-T4 or anti-T8, did not increase NK cell activity. NK cell activity mediated by PBM from eight immunodeficient individuals (four with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and four with renal allografts) was also significantly augmented by anti-T3 pretreatment. Our findings, in addition to providing a rationale for the frequent occurrence of re-rejection episodes in renal graft recipients treated with anti-T3, suggest that anti-T3 might be utilized to enhance the cytotoxic armamentarium of immunodeficient patients.


M Suthanthiran, P S Williams, S D Solomon, A L Rubin, K H Stenzel


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