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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Phenotypic and functional heterogeneity of human peripheral blood T lymphocytes producing colony stimulating factor. A clonal and precursor frequency analysis.

In this report we describe the precursor frequency and the subset distribution of peripheral blood human T cells producing lymphokine(s) acting on the proliferation and differentiation of bone marrow precursors of the granulocyte/macrophage series, as assessed in a liquid microculture assay. Because the sensitivity of this system was similar to that of the classic colony formation assay in semi-solid (methylcellulose) medium, it is likely that the lymphokine activity measured in this assay corresponds to the colony- stimulating factor (CSF) activity. Single human T lymphocytes, isolated from peripheral blood by E rosetting and Ficoll-Hypaque gradients, were seeded into microculture wells by limiting dilution or micromanipulation techniques and were incubated under culture conditions that allow clonal expansion of essentially all T cells. After 15 to 20 days, microcultures were stimulated with PHA and CSF activity was assayed in culture supernatants 24 hr thereafter. About 45% (1/2.3) of peripheral blood T cells were found to give rise to CSF-producing progenies. Moreover, when fluorescence-activated cell sorter-purified T4+ and T4- (or T8- and T8+) were analyzed, the frequency of the precursors of CSF-producing cells was 1/1.5 in the T4+ subset, whereas approximately one-third of the T8+ cells had this functional potential. To additionally characterize T cells responsible for CSF production, unfractionated T cells as well as T4+ and T4- cells were cloned by single cell micromanipulation. The resulting clones were analyzed simultaneously for the production of IL 2, production of CSF and for cytolytic activity in a lectin-dependent assay. It was found that 25/48 clones obtained from unfractionated T cells produced CSF, whereas 23/48 and 19/48 produced IL 2 or had cytolytic activity respectively. Six of the 25 CSF-producing clones had only this functional capability, whereas the remaining clones in addition displayed cytolytic activity (4/25), IL 2 production (10/25), or both (5/25). A similar functional heterogeneity was observed among T4+ and T4- clones, thus indicating that T cells producing CSF are functionally heterogeneous within both the T4+ and T8+ subsets.[1]


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