B7/BB1 is a membrane differentiation antigen expressed on activated B cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells that binds to a counter-receptor, CD28, expressed on T lymphocytes and thymocytes. Interaction between CD28 and B7 results in potent costimulation of T cell activation initiated via the CD3/T cell receptor complex. We now report that B7 is also expressed on activated human peripheral blood T cells, CD4 T cell clones, CD8 T cell clones, and natural killer cell clones. B7 appears relatively late after T cell activation, can be detected on both CD4 and CD8 T cell subsets, and is present on antigen-specific, major histocompatibility complex-restricted CD4 and CD8 T cell clones. Expression of B7 on activated T cells was confirmed by immunoprecipitation from 125I-labeled activated T cells and by detection of B7 transcripts. A B7+ CD4+ T cell clone was able to stimulate a primary allogeneic mixed lymphocyte response using small, resting peripheral blood T cells as responders. The alloantigen-induced proliferative response and cytokine production was partially inhibited by anti-B7 monoclonal antibody. Since activated T cells can coexpress both CD28 and its counter-receptor, B7, this suggests that activated T cells may be capable of autocrine costimulation via the CD28 activation pathway.

This content is only available as a PDF.