We used dual laser two-color flow cytometry to compare the expression of surface markers associated with activation and with differentiation in lung and peripheral blood T lymphocytes from normal subjects. T cell subsets, defined based on their reactivity with monoclonal antibodies (MAb) OKT3, OKT4, and OKT8, were analyzed for expression of activation antigens as detected by MAbs to the interleukin-2 receptor, the transferrin receptor, and HLA-DR determinants. Whereas circulating T lymphocytes expressed the three activation antigens at low levels, and the total of T4+ and T8+ cells always approximated the number of T3+ cells, lung T lymphocytes of the T3+, T4+, and T8+ populations expressed the activation antigens at variable levels in combinations not seen in circulating lymphocytes, and the sum of T4+ and T8+ cells always exceeded the T3+ total. A proportion of T4+T8+ cells was detected in lung lymphocytes.
B L Davidson, J Faust, S Pessano, R P Daniele, G Rovera