Augmentation of cell-mediated responses in vitro by a monoclonal anti-helper factor antibody.
James RF., Sunshine GH., Edwards S., Maudsley DJ., Feldmann M.
Previous studies have shown that monoclonal antibody AF3.44.4 has specificity for a constant region determinant on mouse antigen-specific helper factors and that it also binds to cultured T cells with functional helper cell characteristics. The antibody synergizes with antigen to enhance in vitro antibody responses; here we demonstrate that it will also enhance cell-mediated responses in vitro such as in the generation of proliferating cells in mixed lymphocyte responses and in the generation of specific killer cells in cytotoxic T lymphocyte cultures. The mechanism of AF3.44.4-generated enhancement was investigated. Increased levels of the lymphokines IL-2 and BCDF were detected in supernatants of AF3.44.4-treated cultures but the antibody itself could not replace interleukin-2 (IL-2), and would not stimulate primed cells in the absence of antigen. This type of monoclonal antibody which augments immunological responses in an antigen-dependent fashion may provide a new class of immunostimulant and a new approach to augmenting the responses of weak immunogens.