We have used mice selectively tolerized to antigens of human lymphocytes by treatment with cyclophosphamide to raise an mAb, BH2-C6, that reacts with a plasma membrane antigen specific for human neutrophils. This specificity is demonstrated by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy, cytochemical analysis of fluorescence-positive and -negative cell populations separated by flow cytometry, and by the selective, complement-mediated killing of mAb BH2-C6-treated neutrophils. Additional evidence for the neutrophil specificity of mAb BH2-C6 is shown by immunoelectron microscopy, which demonstrates a lack of reactivity with human eosinophils. Immunoblotting of SDS-PAGE-separated proteins of polymorphonuclear leukocytes with 125I-labeled BH2-C6 identifies protein with an average molecular mass of 157 kD. Binding studies show that, at saturation, neutrophils bind 214,000 molecules of 125I-BH2-C6 per cell. Addition of mAb BH2-C6 to neutrophils significantly reduces the number of C3bi-opsonized sheep erythrocytes (EIgMC3bi) bound by these cells. This reduction is partly reversed by the presence of soybean trypsin inhibitor (SBTI), indicating that at least one part of this inhibition is due to BH2-C6-stimulated secretion of a serine protease that may affect ligand binding. Cytochemical analysis of normal human bone marrow cells sorted by cytofluorimetry identifies the promyelocyte as the precursor cell that first expresses BH2-Ag on the plasma membrane. Using the leukemic cell line HL-60, we demonstrate that only inducers of granulocytic differentiation, cis-retinoic acid, and dimethyloxazolidine stimulate the expression of BH2-Ag. These results show that the expression of BH2-Ag during myelomonocytic differentiation is a property uniquely possessed by cells committed to the neutrophilic lineage.

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