Author(s): Gimmi CD, Freeman GJ, Gribben JG, Sugita K, Freedman AS, Morimoto C, Nadler LM
Occupancy of the T-cell receptor complex does not appear to be a sufficient stimulus to induce a T-cell-mediated immune response. Increasing evidence suggests that cognate cell-cell interaction between an activated T cell and an antigen-presenting cell may provide such a stimulus. A candidate T-cell surface molecule for this costimulatory signal is the T-cell-restricted CD28 antigen. Following crosslinking with anti-CD28 mAb, suboptimally stimulated CD28+ T cells show increased proliferation and markedly increased secretion of a subset of lymphokines. Recently, the B-cell surface activation antigen B7 was shown to be a natural ligand for the CD28 molecule, and both B7 and CD28 are members of the immunoglobulin superfamily. Here we report that B7-transfected CHO cells can induce suboptimally activated CD28+ T cells to proliferate and secrete high levels of interleukin 2. The response is identical whether T cells are submitogenically stimulated with either phorbol myristate acetate or anti-CD3 to activate the T cells. This response is specific and can be totally abrogated with anti-B7 monoclonal antibody. As has previously been observed for anti-CD28 monoclonal antibody, B7 ligation induced secretion of interleukin 2 but not interleukin 4. We have previously demonstrated that B7 expression is restricted to activated B lymphocytes and interferon gamma-activated monocytes. Since these two cellular populations are involved in antigen presentation as well as cognate interaction with T lymphocytes, B7 is likely to represent a central constimulatory signal that is capable of amplifying an immune response.