The expression of an antigen on porcine T lymphocytes detected by murine monoclonal antibody (mAb) 8/1 was investigated by functional studies and dual-parameter immunofluorescence. mAb 8/1 reacts with greater than 95% of thymocytes and in peripheral blood with all T lymphocytes and with cells of the monocyte/macrophage lineage, but not with B cells, erythrocytes, and platelets. Pretreatment of peripheral blood lymphocytes with mAb 8/1 plus complement abrogated the proliferative response in vitro to mitogen, soluble antigen, and MHC determinants. Dual-parameter immunofluorescence revealed that resting porcine T8+ as well as T4+ lymphocytes express the 8/1 antigen, whereas after in vitro activation, cell surface expression of the antigen was low or absent in both T cell subsets. Thus, the 8/1 antigen represents a marker that discriminates between resting and activated T lymphocytes. Distribution and functional criteria indicate that 8/1 represents a novel marker not described before for any other mammalian species.

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