• Lymphocyte activation;
  • inhibition;
  • trophoblast antisera

ABSTRACT: In order to further examine the inhibition of lymphocyte activation reported with conventional antisera to human trophoblast membranes, we studied their effects on cells stimulated by antigen in mixed lymphocyte culture (MLC) and by the mitogen phytohemagglutinin. The results were compared with the effects of antisera known to recognize intrinsic membrane determinants on activated T cells (DR antigens and placental alkaline phosphatase) and with those of antisera to normal human serum components such as transferrin which may bind to the activated lymphocyte membrane. The results indicated that antibodies to placental alkaline phosphatase, which constitutes the predominant specificity of conventional trophoblast membrane antisera, caused inhibition both of MLC response and, to a lesser extent, of activation induced by mitogen. Similar inhibition was obtained with antisera to human DR antigens, while antisera to normal human serum and transferrin were not suppressive. These findings, together with time course studies and immunocytochemical studies of the homologous antigens, suggest that these antisera mediate their inhibitory effects in part through binding to antigens which appear on cells as they undergo activation.