Functional characterization of human T lymphocyte subsets distinguished by monoclonal anti-leu-8

J Immunol. 1985 May;134(5):2995-3002.


Previous studies have shown that monoclonal anti-Leu-8 antibody identifies functionally distinct subpopulations within both the Leu-2 (T8+) and Leu-3 (T4+) lineages of human T lymphocytes. We now report in detail on the tissue distribution of the Leu-8 antigen and on extensive functional studies of T cells subsets distinguished by their expression or lack of expression of this marker. Leu-8 is present on a wide variety of hematologic cells, including granulocytes, T and B lymphocytes, monocytes, and null or NK cells. Within lymph nodes and tonsils, Leu-8 is absent from both B and T cells within germinal centers but is present on nearly all paracortical lymphocytes. Leu-8 is present on most but not all EBV-transformed B cell lines, reflecting its presence on a subset of normal peripheral blood B cells. None of six malignant T cell lines tested were Leu-8+, whereas most circulating T cells are Leu-8+. Although standard immunoprecipitation techniques failed to demonstrate any specific bands on SDS polyacrylamide gels, the antigenic determinant recognized by anti-Leu-8 is protein or protein-associated, because brief treatment of target cells with pronase abrogated binding of anti-Leu-8. Both Leu-3+8+ and Leu-3+8- cells proliferated in response to several soluble antigens and to autologous and allogeneic non-T cells. Nonetheless, nearly all of the helper T cells for PWM- and AMLR-induced PFC were contained within the Leu3+8- subset. Optimal suppression of the PWM-induced PFC response required both Leu-2+8+ and Leu-2+8- cells, and irradiation of either subset with 3000 R abrogated the capacity of the recombined subsets to effect suppression. In contrast to help for B cell differentiation, both Leu-3+8+ and Leu-3+8- cells were capable of amplifying the development of allospecific T killer cells; precursor and effector T killer cells could be found within both Leu-2+8+ and Leu-2+8- subpopulations. The correlation between Leu-8 phenotype and selected immune functions of T cells (and B cells; see companion paper) indicates that anti-Leu-8 distinguishes important immunoregulatory T and B lymphocyte subsets in man.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal* / physiology
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • Antigens, Surface / analysis*
  • Antigens, Surface / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Binding, Competitive
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Granulocytes / immunology
  • Hemolytic Plaque Technique
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocyte Culture Test, Mixed
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Pokeweed Mitogens / pharmacology
  • Rabbits
  • T-Lymphocytes / classification*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Pokeweed Mitogens