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T and B cells exhibit complex responses to the combination of IL-2 and IL-4, each of which can act as a growth or differentiation factor for lymphocytes under certain circumstances. To characterize better the mechanism by which these cytokines interact, mRNA levels of the signal-transducing p75 beta-chain of the IL-2R were analyzed. These studies show that IL-4 increases expression of the IL-2R beta-chain in mouse splenic B and T cells, and the response of B cells was potentiated by concurrent cross-linking of surface Ig. Kinetic analysis of the IL-2R beta response showed a slow onset but maintenance of peak levels of expression between 10 and 24 h. These data indicate that the pathways involved in the lymphocyte response to IL-4 differ for IL-2R and IL-4R, and that the induction of IL-4R precedes the increase in IL-2R. The effect of IL-4 on IL-2R beta mRNA levels was mediated in part by an increase in the rate of gene transcription, and was associated with increased IL-2 binding in the absence of any change in IL-2R alpha levels. In addition, IL-4 increased the level of IL-2R beta expression in thymocytes. Proliferation assays demonstrated that pretreatment of splenic T cells with IL-4 led to a substantial increase in IL-2-dependent proliferation. These results are consistent with a mechanism by which IL-4 can prime T cells and certain thymocytes for responsiveness to IL-2 by increasing IL-2R p75 chain gene expression, independent of general T cell activation.
In humans and in BALB/c mice, immune responses to the hormone insulin use evolutionarily related VHV (human) and VHIX (murine) gene families. To determine if these structural relationships include regulatory elements, BALB/c mice were pretreated with autologous immunoglobulin G (IgG) monoclonal antibodies (mAb) that recognize shared idiotopes on human anti-insulin antibodies and the subsequent immune response to human insulin assessed. One mAb, Id227, was found to augment and accelerate the insulin response by inducing a human idiotype that is expressed on both insulin-binding and non-insulin-binding BALB/c antibodies. Analysis of VH gene utilization by Id227 shows that it expresses a VHIX gene similar to that of anti-insulin mAb 125, but the anti-Id has no anti-insulin activity. Using DNA amplification, four germ-line VHIX genes were isolated from BALB/c liver DNA and sequence analysis shows that the anti-insulin and anti-Id are derived from the same germ-line gene. Consistent with its role as a regulatory idiotype, IgG Id227 entirely preserves germ-line sequence in the complementary determining regions and contains only three mutations in framework regions. These studies show that both structural and regulatory features of immune responses to conserved self antigens extend beyond species boundaries.
Two colour flow cytometry was used to analyse in situ cytokine expression by human monocytes. Whole blood was cultured in siliconised glass bottles, with or without E. coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS), for various times, and the mononuclear cells (MNCs) then exposed to a variety of permeabilisation procedures prior to flow cytometric analysis. Paraformaldehyde (PF)/saponin fixation preserved cellular morphology, and caused a reproducible degree of permeabilisation (estimated by propidium iodide inclusion: mean 94%, range 86-99% (n = 33)). After fixation with 4% PF and permeabilisation with 1% saponin at 0 degrees C in PBS containing 20% human serum, MNCs were incubated with phycoerythrin(PE)-conjugated mouse anti-CD14 (monocyte phenotype) and polyclonal rabbit anti-human interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1 alpha), IL-1 beta, tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), or control rabbit IgG. Binding of rabbit antibodies was detected using goat anti-rabbit IgG fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC). FITC fluorescence was increased in CD14 PE positive cells with the three anti-cytokine antibodies following LPS stimulation, compared with controls. There was a reproducible dose related response in monocyte IL-1 beta and TNF-alpha expression following LPS stimulation, with early peaks in TNF-alpha (2 h), compared with IL-1 beta (4 h), and IL-1 alpha (12 h). Specificity of this cytokine detection system was confirmed by inhibition studies using the corresponding recombinant human cytokines, by an absence of staining in CD14 negative or unpermeabilised MNCs, and by the characteristic cytoplasmic localisation of the different cytokines visualised with UV immunochemistry. Hence, the methods described here provide a reproducible, semiquantitative and specific assay for the detection of cell associated monokines. The technique may be applicable to the analysis of a variety of different cytokines in other phenotypically defined cell populations.
In vitro treatment of goat red blood cells (GRBCs) with the sulphydryl compound 2-aminoethylisothiouronium bromide (AET) increases their specific reactivity with human T lymphocytes without affecting the specificity of the reaction. AET-GRBCs bind to only part of T lymphocytes rosetting with AET-sheep red blood cells (SRBCs): the receptors for both types of RBCs are very simular if not identical, but display higher affinity for AET-SRBCs than for AET-GRBCs. Rosetting of T lymphocytes with AET-GRBCs may be useful to enumerate T lymphocyte subsets in patients with abnormality of the immune system and to fractionate T lymphocyte subpopulations.
Purified polyribonucleotide-induced human fibroblast interferon (HFIF) was tested for its effects on proliferative and cytotoxic human T cell responses to alloantigens. The addition of HFIF (100 to 400 IFU/ml) to mixed leukocyte cultures decreased alloantigen-induced lymphocyte proliferative responses as determined by both recovery of responding cells and by 3H-thymidine incorporation into responding cells. However, HFIF, but not the mock interferon preparation, increased the cytotoxic response of T cells to allogeneic cells by 4- to 5-fold when expressed in terms of lytic units. Although fibroblast and leukocyte interferons have different physicochemical and biologic properties, the results reported here are in concert with previous findings concerning the effects of virus-induced leukocyte interferon on human T cell functions.