T-cell receptors of human suppressor cells.
Cells which can suppress the immune response to an antigen (TS cells) appear to be essential for regulation of the immune system. But the characterization of the TS lineage has not been extensive and many are sceptical of studies using uncloned or hybrid T-cell lines. The nature of the antigen receptor on these cells is unclear. T cells of the helper or cytotoxic lineages appear to recognize their targets using the T-cell receptor (TCR) alpha beta-CD3 complex. TCR beta-gene rearrangements are also found in some murine and human suppressor cell lines but others have been shown not to rearrange or express the beta-chain or alpha-chain genes. We previously established TS clones derived from lepromatous leprosy patients which carry the CD8 antigen and recognize antigen in the context of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules in vitro. We here report the characterization of additional MHC-restricted TS clones which rearrange TCR beta genes, express messenger RNA for the alpha and beta chains of the TCR and express clonally unique CD3-associated TCR alpha beta structures on their cell surface but do not express the gamma chain of the gamma delta TCR on the cell surface. We conclude that antigen recognition by at least some human CD8+ suppressor cells is likely to be mediated by TCR alpha beta heterodimers.
Modlin, RL; Brenner, MB; Krangel, MS; Duby, AD; Bloom, BR
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