Glucocorticoid hormones, although able to exert profound immunosuppressive effects, do not suppress mononuclear phagocyte activation by IFN-gamma and may even enhance it. For example, expression and functional activity of the high affinity FcR for IgG on human mononuclear phagocytes (FcR gamma I) is increased by IFN-gamma and is maximal after co-treatment with IFN-gamma plus the glucocorticoid dexamethasone (DEX). To determine whether there are other mononuclear phagocyte surface Ag that are regulated in this manner, hybridomas were prepared using IFN-gamma-plus-DEX-treated human monocytes as immunogen. Five IgG1 mAb (Mac 2-8, 2-38, 2-48, 2-49, and 2-158) were developed that recognize a trypsin-sensitive mononuclear phagocyte-specific surface Ag of Mr 155,000. There was no detectable reactivity of these mAb to lymphocytes or granulocytes or to several cell lines, including U-937 and HL-60. The p155 Ag was detected on monocytes and increased significantly with time of culture or after treatment with DEX. Expression was maximal after co-treatment with rIFN-gamma plus DEX, but was inhibited or unaffected by treatment with IFN-gamma alone. For freshly isolated cells, expression of the p155 Ag was highest on peritoneal macrophages. Our results indicate that the p155 Ag is a newly identified Ag of the human mononuclear phagocyte lineage and may represent, in the least, a phenotypic marker of monocyte differentiation or maturation.

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