About 25% of human T cells isolated from cord blood acquired Ia antigens following stimulation with phytohemagglutinin (PHA) for 72 hr. This percentage is markedly lower than that found in PHA-activated T-cell populations (PHA-T cells) isolated from peripheral blood of adults. The low expression of Ia antigens by human T cells from cord blood does not reflect abnormalities in the sensitivity to PHA stimulation and/or in the kinetics of induction of Ia antigens. PHA-T cells from cord blood display a low stimulatory activity in autologous mixed lymphocyte reactions (MLR). The defect does not reflect a nonspecific abnormality in the stimulatory activity of PHA-T cells from cord blood, since the latter do not differ from PHA-T cells from adults in their ability to stimulate allogeneic T cells from adults. Furthermore the defect does not reflect a nonspecific abnormality in the proliferative response of T cells from cord blood, since the latter display a normal proliferative response to PHA-T cells from adults. The defect in the proliferative response is not restricted to the autologous MLR with PHA-T cells, since it was found also in autologous MLR with non-T cells as stimulators. Correlation of the temporal evolution of the abnormalities of human T cells with the maturation of the immune system may contribute to our understanding of the role of Ia antigens in cell-cell interactions and of the biological significance of abnormalities of autologous MLR.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology