The 2H4 antigen, comprised of a 200 220-kDa glycoprotein of the leukocyte common antigen (LCA) family, is expressed on a suppressor inducer, but not a helper inducer subset of T4 cells. Earlier studies have demonstrated that the T4+2H4+ subset of cells maximally responded to the AMLR and this molecule had an important role in generated suppressor signals in AMLR/ Con A-activated T cell systems. In the present study, we examined the effect of a series of monoclonal antibodies including anti-2H4 antibody on the initial activation of T4 cells in response to self-Ia antigens. We found that the addition of anti-2H4 antibody resulted in an augmentation of the proliferative response of T4 cells in AMLR, whereas other antibodies reactive with LCA/ T200 antigens lacked this ability. Furthermore, anti-2H4 antibody enhanced both IL-2 production and IL-2R expression in this AMLR system. This enhancing effect was inhibited by anti-T3 antibody. Moreover, the suppressor inducer function of AMLR T4 cells was enhanced with anti-2H4 antibody by increasing the number of 2H4+ cells with high antigen density. Taken together, these results suggest that the 2H4 antigen may serve as an accessory structure for enhancing the activation of the T4+2H4+ suppressor inducer subset at initiation of cell triggering.
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