The supernatants from PHA-activated normal human T cells (conditioned medium) were fractionated by differential adsorption on Con A-Sepharose columns. The effluent contained both IL 2 activity (tested on the CTL-L2 cell line) and BCGF activity (tested on anti-mu-activated normal B-enriched cells). Absorption of such effluent on PHA-activated T cell blasts removed the IL 2 activity without affecting the BCGF activity. The eluate also displayed BCGF activity (tested on anti-mu-activated B-enriched cells) without detectable IL 2 activity. The two BCGF species isolated by this criteria synergize with semipurified IL 1 to support the anti-mu-induced proliferation of highly monocyte-depleted B cells. Both BCGF species required the presence of anti-mu Ab to support the proliferation of small B cells (at the G0 stage). However, in contrast to crude conditioned medium and to the BCGF present in the effluent, the BCGF present in the eluate was unable to induce the proliferation of unfractionated or large (at the G1 stage) B cells in the absence of anti-mu Ab. These results support the existence of two functionally different human BCGF species, differing at least in their relative sugar content and distinct from IL 2.

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