In addition to the T3/antigen receptor complex (T3/Ti), other T cell surface molecules participate in early events involved in human T cell activation. In this report we document that monoclonal antibody 9.3, which recognizes a 90,000 dalton homodimer expressed on human T cells, synergizes with ligands reacting with T3/Ti to activate purified T cells and Jurkat, a human T cell leukemic line. Unlike phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), 9.3 was able to synergize only with anti-T3 or anti-Ti if these antibodies were immobilized. Moreover, 9.3 failed to synergize with the calcium ionophore ionomycin. At high concentrations only, 9.3 could synergize with PMA in the activation of Jurkat and a T3/Ti negative mutant of Jurkat. At such high concentrations of 9.3, small transient increases in cytoplasmic free calcium ((Ca++)i) were detected in quin 2-loaded Jurkat cells. This increase in (Ca++)i was the result of release of internal stores of calcium. 9.3 induced the hydrolysis of polyphosphoinositides, albeit the magnitude of inositol phosphates generated in response to 9.3 was substantially less than that observed with anti-Ti. No effect on pkC translocation was observed in Jurkat cells stimulated with 9.3. Although the small increase in (Ca++)i induced by 9.3 may account for its synergy with PMA, this effect is unlikely to account for the more potent synergistic effect observed with 9.3 and phytohemagglutinin or immobilized anti-T3 and anti-Ti antibodies.

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