In this study, fibronectin synergized with anti-CD3 antibody to promote CD4 cell proliferation in a serum-free culture system. The cell-adhesive domain plus additional regions of the fibronectin molecule are involved in this synergy. Anti4B4(CDw29) antibody blocked the activation of CD4 cells in this system. Furthermore, it is the VLA-5 protein within the set of molecules recognized by anti-4B4 that serves as a fibronectin receptor on the CD4 lymphocytes. The VLA-5 fibronectin receptor was mainly expressed on CD4+ CD45R-CDw29+ cells and may in part contribute to the unique function of these cells.

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