The T3 antigen is expressed on all cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). Monoclonal antibodies (MAb) to the T3 antigen previously have been shown to inhibit CTL-mediated killing of cells expressing the relevant target antigens. The mechanism of T3 MAb inhibition, however, remains undefined. In this report, we describe a novel effect of the T3 MAb: the stimulation of allospecific CTL clones to kill target cells that do not express the relevant HLA antigens. The stimulation of nonspecific killing was seen only with MAb to the T3 antigen; MAb to other function-associated antigens (e.g., LFA-1, LFA-2, LFA-3, T4, T8, HLA-A,B,C, and DR) had no effect. T3 MAb stimulated nonspecific killing by CTL clones expressing both the T4+ and T8+ phenotype and by CTL clones specific for both class I and class II HLA alloantigens. Target cell susceptibility to T3 MAb stimulated killing was variable. CTL clones lysed some target cell lines very efficiently (e.g., K562, Daudi, and M124.1) but lysed other cell lines much less efficiently (e.g., 23.1, Mann, and L cells). In CTL-mediated cytotoxicity assays with target cells expressing the relevant HLA antigens, T3 MAb demonstrated the expected inhibition of cytolysis. Thus, the ability of T3 MAb to stimulate and inhibit CTL-mediated cytolysis suggests that both effects may be the result of a common mechanism of activation.

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