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The cytokine production profile, focusing on interleukin-4 (IL-4), interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) of human CD4+, CD8+ and CD4- CD8- alpha beta T cells cloned from the peripheral blood of healthy individuals was compared. Solid-phase anti-CD3 stimulation of CD4- CD8- alpha beta T cell clones from one individual revealed a significantly increased frequency of IL-4-producing clones (81%), compared to CD4+ T cells (24%) or CD8+ (28%). All five CD4- CD8- alpha beta T-cell clones from two other individuals also produced IL-4. Clones that produced IFN-gamma with undetectable IL-4 production, thus being of the 'classical' Th1 phenotype, were infrequent in CD4- CD8- alpha beta T-cell clones (19%) compared to CD4+ (71%), and CD8+ clones (72%) cloned in OKT3, and CD4+ cells cloned in phytohaemaglutinin A (77%). Unlike previously reported studies with gamma delta cells, the alpha beta CD4- CD8- T cells produced IL-10 at appreciable frequency (38%) in PHA generated clones. The supernatants from anti-CD3 stimulated CD4- CD8- alpha beta T-cell clones contained sufficient IL-4 to activate B cells, enhancing CD23 and surface immunoglobulin M (IgM) expression and co-stimulating B-cell proliferation. These findings suggest that the function of CD4- CD8- alpha beta T cells is distinct from that of most CD4+ or CD8+ T cells.


Journal article



Publication Date





501 - 504


B-Lymphocytes, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cells, Cultured, Clone Cells, Humans, Interferon-gamma, Interleukin-10, Interleukin-4, Interleukins, Lymphocyte Activation, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta