Suppressor T cell growth and differentiation: Production of a suppressor T cell differentiation factor by the murine thymoma BW5147

W. S. Chu, M. R. Carpino, A. Dent, S. Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Previous studies have identified a lymphokine, termed Ts differentiation factor (TsDF), in primary MLR supernatants that induces effector function of alloantigen-primed MLR-Ts. The present report describes constitutive production of TsDF by the murine thymoma BW5147, and its use to analyze alloantigen and TsDF requirements for MLR-Ts activation to TsF production. Serum-free supernatants of BW5147 restored the capacity of MLR-TsF production to alloantigen-primed MLR-Ts cultured with glutaraldehyde-fixed allogeneic stimulator cells, and were not themselves directly suppressive in the MLR assay. BW5147 supernatant induced MLR-TsF production from primed L3T4-Ly2+ MLR-Ts in the absence of concomitant proliferation, suggesting that the function of BW5147 supernatant, like that of MLR-derived TsDF, is a differentiative rather than a proliferative one, and is required for the synthesis or release of TsF. The differentiative activity of BW5147 supernatant was associated with a molecular species of ~ 14,500 m.w. by HPLC fractionation and was expressed independently of detectable IL 2, IL 3, IFN-γ, and IL 1. The functional activity of BW5147 supernatant has therefore been provisionally designated BW5147-derived Ts differentiative factor, or BW-TsDF. By using BW-TsDF, it was demonstrated that MRL-Ts fail to respond to TsDF in the absence of, or preceding, reexposure to priming alloantigen. Instead, alloantigen binding by primed MLR-Ts appears to create a transient state of TsDF responsiveness. Primed MLR-Ts were fully sensitive to delayed addition of TsDF for approximately 12 hr after reexposure to alloantigen, but became TsDF-unresponsive within 24 to 36 hr. MLR-Ts cultured alone for 36 hr were fully responsive to the combined addition of TsDF and alloantigen. Thus, MLR-Ts activation to TsF release requires the sequential events of specific alloantigen binding, which induces a TsDF-responsive state, followed by interaction with TsDF. The transience of induced TsDF responiveness suggests a precise mechanism for control of antigen-initiated Ts activation to effector function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-86
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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