Monoclonal anti-Lyt-2 antibodies blocked effector function of cytotoxic thymus-derived (T) cells in the absence of added complement. Cytolysis of both allogeneic cells and syngeneic lymphoma or sarcoma target cells was inhibited at the level of the effector lymphocytes. Anti-Lyt-1 and anti-Thy-1 antibodies did not block killer cells. Proliferation of T cells in mixed lymphocyte culture was also inhibited by anti-Lyt-2, but not affected by anti-Lyt-1 or anti-Thy-1 antibodies. Although Lyt-1+ lymphocytes were required in the mixed lymphocyte reaction as helper cells for proliferation of Lyt-2+ lymphocytes, their helper function was not affected by the presence of Lyt-1 antibodies. Thus, although anti-Lyt-1, anti-Lyt-2 and anti-Thy-1 were of the same gamma 2A immunoglobulin class, had high titers, and interacted with T cells to the same extent, only anti-Lyt-2 blocked T cell functions. Polyclonal activation of T lymphocytes by concanavalin A, in contrast to activation by alloantigens, was not inhibited by Lyt-2 antibodies, suggesting that Lyt-2 antibodies interfere with T cell function at the level of the T cell antigen-receptor. The role which Lyt-2 molecules may play in T cell function is discussed.

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