Alloactivated long-term cultured human T lymphocytes express both HLA-DR and SB antigens but lack lymphocyte stimulation capacity



Cell populations obtained from mixed leukocyte cultures of 6- or 10-day duration were found specifically to restimulate primed lymphocytes detecting HLA-linked SB as well as HLA-D-associated antigens. After expansion in vitro (9-75 days) with medium containing interleukin 2, the cultured cells expressed the T lymphocyte markers detected in indirect immunofluorescence by monoclonal antibodies Lyt-3, OKT3, OKT4, OKT8, and had high levels of HLA-DR antigens. In addition, they were shown in cell-mediated lymphocytotoxicity specifically to express SB antigens of the donor B cell type. Despite their positivity for DR and SB antigens, such cultured T cells failed to restimulate either SB- or D-specific secondary lymphocyte proliferation. Homogeneous cloned populations of cultured T cells also lacked lymphocyte stimulation capacity. In contrast, B cell lines, which also expressed DR and SB antigens, were potent stimulators of both SB- or D-directed proliferation. These data show that the activated T lymphocytes which express both HLA-DR and SB antigens are by themselves unable to stimulate lymphocyte proliferation.