Characterization of human T lymphocytes that express the C3b receptor.
The presence of the C3b receptor (C3bR) on human peripheral blood T lymphocytes was recognized by the capacity of rabbit F(ab')2 anti-C3bR and tetramethylrhodamine isothiocyanate (TRITC)-conjugated goat F(ab')2 anti-rabbit F(ab')2 to stain 14.5 +/- 3.7% (mean +/- SEM; n = 5) of lymphocytes forming rosettes with sheep erythrocytes (E). The F(ab')2 anti-C3bR also blocked the capacity of peripheral blood lymphocytes stained with OKT11 to form rosettes with bovine E bearing C3b and immunoprecipitated a single membrane protein having a m.w. of approximately 250,000 from detergent lysates of 125I-labeled, purified T cells. Measurement by fluorescent flow cytometry of the quantitative expression of the C3bR indicated that T cells had slightly more antigenic sites/cell than did E and approximately 10-fold fewer sites than were present on B cells. The surface constituents of the peripheral blood T cells expressing the C3bR were assessed in an assay that employed simultaneously three markers: rosette formation with sheep E, TRITC staining with anti-C3bR and fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-staining with a panel of monoclonal antibodies or with aggregated IgG. Among lymphocytes forming rosettes with sheep E and expressing the C3bR, 99.6 +/- 0.4%, 65.0 +/- 5.8%, 17.2 +/- 6.2%, and 15.3 +/- 5.0% of the cells expressed antigens detected by OKT3, OKT4, OKT8, and OKM1 monoclonal antibodies, respectively. Ninety-seven per cent of the C3bR-bearing T cells were also capable of specifically binding aggregated IgG, indicating the presence of Fc receptors for IgG (Fc gamma R) on these cells. The T cells expressing the C3bR had large nuclei, thin rims of basophilic cytoplasm and no azurophilic granules. Thus, the C3bR is present on some T cells, all of which have a typical lymphocyte morphology, the T3 antigen and the Fc gamma R.
Wilson, JG; Tedder, TF; Fearon, DT
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