The secretion of immunoglobulin (Ig) from cultured mononuclear cells by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation is inhibited by monoclonal nonspecific suppressor factor (MNSF), a lymphokine produced by murine T cell hybridoma. In an attempt to develop a murine monoclonal antibody (MAb) with specific reactivity against MNSF, a cell fusion technique that incorporated immune murine splenocytes and HAT-sensitive murine myeloma cells was used. Cross-reactivity experiments confirmed that the MAb (MO6) does not bind to unrelated proteins such as bovine serum albumin, mouse IgG, and murine interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma). There are no effects when anti-IFN-gamma antibodies are used with MNSF. As far as biological activity is concerned, MO6 inhibits in vitro the activity of MNSF in terms of the Ig secretion from cultured lymphocytes. By using MO6, affinity chromatography and immunoblotting were performed. The MNSF on the SDS-PAGE showed a band with m.w. of approximately 70,000, indicating the formation of an aggregate in saline; but after treatment with 0.4 M pyridine-acetic acid buffer, separate bands of 24,000 and 16,000 daltons were evident. Therefore MO6 recognizes 70,000 and both 24,000 and 16,000 daltons. Thus we confirmed by using this MAb and affinity chromatography, the existence of human counterpart, human nonspecific suppressor factor (hNSF), in supernatant from concanavalin A-stimulated T cells. When hNSF was fractionated by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), the activity was found in a region corresponding to 70,000 daltons. However, when fractionated in pyridine-acetic acid buffer, hNSF activity was distributed in a slightly wider range of 15,000 to 30,000 daltons. Physicochemical analysis showed that the purified hNSF is resistant to either heating at 56 degrees C or to 2-mercaptoethanol treatment; however, it is labile to acidification at pH 2.0 and is also sensitive to protease treatment, the characteristics of which were similar to those of murine MNSF. Thus MO6 was confirmed to be a pertinent tool for isolation of hNSF, as well as for murine MNSF.

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