Anti-T12, an anti-CD6 monoclonal antibody, can activate human T lymphocytes

R. M R Gangemi, J. A. Swack, D. M. Gaviria, P. L. Romain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anti-T12 is a murine IgM mAb that recognizes the 130-kDa CD6 glycoprotein on mature human T lymphocytes. Examination of the in vitro effects of this mAb on freshly isolated T cells demonstrates that anti-T12 can induce T cell activation. Such activation is macrophage-dependent, and optimal stimulation occurs with 0.2 to 5 μg/ml of purified mAb. This response to soluble mAb is detectable at day 4 to 5 of culture, and peak [ 3H]TdR uptake is observed at day 7. In a highly similar fashion, the mAb causes a marked augmentation of the autologous mixed lymphocyte reaction, without altering the kinetics of that response. Although optimal anti-CD3 mAb induced mitogenesis is unaffected by anti-T12, suboptimal stimulation of macrophage-depleted T cells by small amounts of immobilized anti-CD3 can be dramatically enhanced when anti-CD3 and anti-T12 are cross-linked together. A soluble nonmitogenic anti-CD3 mAb completely inhibits anti-T12-mediated T cell activation. IL-2R expression is induced by anti-T12 stimulation in 10 to 30% of T cells, and T cell proliferation is substantially inhibited by anti-IL-2R mAb, indicating that anti-T12 induced T cell activation and proliferation utilizes an IL-2-dependent pathway. Isolated CD4 + but not CD8 + cells are stimulated to proliferate, but the CD8 + cells in unseparated T cell preparations activated by anti-T12 do proliferate comparably to the CD4 + cells in such cultures. These data indicate that relatively weak activation of T cells via the TCR/CD3 complex may be augmented significantly by Cd6-mediated signals induced by the anti-T12 mAb. The findings suggest that the CD6 T cell membrane protein may have the capacity to function as a physiologically important structure involved in the regulation of T cell activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2439-2447
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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