C1.7 monoclonal antibody designates high-avidity CD4+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes involved in clinical heart rejection

Transplantation. 1998 Jul 15;66(1):135-8. doi: 10.1097/00007890-199807150-00024.


Background: It is assumed that not all donor-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), but only those with a high avidity for donor antigens, can function as terminal effector cells in transplant rejection.

Methods: In the present study, we searched for markers that would exclusively designate these high-avidity CTL.

Results: FACS analysis of donor-specific CTL clones obtained from heart transplant patients revealed that high- and low-avidity CTL varied in their expression of p38, a surface molecule involved in signal transduction, which is stained by the antibody C1.7. High- and low-avidity CD8+ CTL and high-avidity CD4+ CTL expressed p38, whereas low-avidity CD4+ CTL did not. Noncytotoxic and naive CD4+ lymphocytes also lacked p38 surface expression.

Conclusion: Therefore, we conclude that p38 is a marker for CD4+ lymphocytes with the potency to damage the transplanted heart. Accordingly, p38 might be used to analyze the contribution of CD4+ CTL in immune responses, such as transplant rejection.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Separation
  • Clone Cells
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Graft Rejection / immunology*
  • Heart Transplantation*
  • Humans
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal