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The human T3 antigen is closely associated with the T cell receptor. Some anti-T3 antibodies cause T cell proliferation in the presence of monocytes which have Fc receptors (FcR) that bind particular antibody subclasses. Such an interaction is thought to determine whether or not an anti-T3 antibody is mitogenic. We examined the mitogenicity of an IgG1 antibody, UCHT1, and an IgG2b switch variant of identical specificity, UCHT1B. With autologous monocytes, 76% of individuals responded to UCHT1 and 9% to UCHT1B, falling into three patterns of responsiveness. Both antibodies in the absence of monocytes induced responsiveness to recombinant interleukin 2, even for UCHT1B nonresponder T cells. The proliferation induced by UCHT1B, however, was always less than that induced by UCHT1. These findings demonstrate the critical role played by the Fc region for mitogenesis, and suggest a possible role for the hinge region. We then obtained direct evidence that mitogenicity can be mediated exclusively via FcR. Mouse macrophages have distinct FcR: FcRI binds IgG2a but FcRII binds IgG1 and IgG2b and its function can be inhibited by the specific antibody 2.4G2. Because UCHT1 and UCHT1B were of the correct subclass to interact with FcRII we examined the accessory function of mouse peritoneal macrophages. Without exception, human T cells now responded to both antibodies. Proliferation was drastically inhibited by 2.4G2 but not by an irrelevant anti-macrophage antibody, F4/80, nor by an anti-human neutrophil FcR antibody, 3G8. Furthermore, 2.4G2 did not inhibit the accessory function of mouse macrophages for OKT3, an IgG2a antibody that presumably interacts with FcRI, and did not inhibit the function of human monocytes for UCHT1 and UCHT1B. Mouse B cells, in contrast to macrophages, have an FcR which binds all three subclasses, but which can be inhibited by 2.4G2. B cells, however, were not accessory cells for mitogenesis with UCHT1, UCHT1B or OKT3. These findings are discussed in relation to other requirements for T cell activation by anti-T3 antibodies.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Immunol

Publication Date





478 - 486


Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antigen-Presenting Cells, Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte, Antigens, Surface, B-Lymphocytes, Flow Cytometry, Humans, Immunoglobulin G, Interleukin-2, Lymphocyte Activation, Macrophages, Monocytes, Peritoneal Cavity, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, Receptors, Fc, Receptors, IgG, T-Lymphocytes