Rabbit T lymphocytes may be differentiated from B lymphocytes by the presence of a T lymphocyte-specific surface antigen. This unique antigen has been extracted from the plasma membrane of rabbit thymocytes by 3 M KCl. The presence of the antigen in the membrane extract was demonstrated by inhibition of cytotoxicity with goat anti-rabbit T cell serum (ATS). The crude membrane extract was fractionated by gel electrophoresis and the fractions containing the T cell antigen identified by inhibition of cytotoxic ATS and by passive hemagglutination. The purified T cell antigen was found to have a m.w. of approximately 12,000 and contained approximately 2.5% carbohydrate. Evidence was also obtained to suggest that the rabbit T cell antigen exists in multiple forms, each having the same m.w. but exhibiting different electrophoretic characteristics.

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