, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 53–63 | Cite as

Polyclonal activation of human lymphocytes and induction of cytotoxic lymphocytes by streptococcal preparations

  • Toshihiro Sato
  • Masahiko Fujii
  • Hideki Satoh
  • Tetsuro Itoh
  • Hidemi Rikiishi
  • Katsuo Kumagai


Polyclonal activation of human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs)in vitro by preparations ofStreptococcus pyogenes Su strain (OK-432) and other heat-killed strains was investigated. The streptococcal preparations tested induce a proliferative response of PBLs via interleukin-2 (IL-2)-independent pathways. The proliferative response is accompanied by the generation of lymphoblastic cells (LBCs), which consist of heterologous lymphocyte populations: CD4+ helper type of T cells, and CD4CD8 double-negative (DN) lymphocytes, including both CD3+ TcRγδ+ T cells and CD2+CD3 immature type of T or non-T cell type of lymphocytes. Almost all the LBCs express Leu19, TfR (transferrin receptor), LFA-1 and CD38 (OKT10) antigens, which are expressed on activated T cells, NK cells and some other lymphocytes. The proliferative response of human PBLs is also accompanied by the generation of potent cytotoxic activity against NK-sensitive and -resistant targets. C-dependent cytolysis and cell sorting experiments of OK-432-activated LBCs revealed that both CD3+ and CD3 types of CD4CD8 DN lymphocytes, but not CD4+ helper T cells, may be major populations responsible for the cytotoxicity induced. On the other hand, CD4CD8 T cells may be required for the proliferation of PBLs and generation of cytotoxic effector cells. These results suggest that the OK-432 and other streptococcal preparations stimulate the human PBLsin vitro to induce the proliferation/activation of CD4+ T cells, mediating the following generation of DN cytotoxic effector lymphocytes.

Key words

helper T cells lymphocyte activation Streptococcus γδ T cells 


DN T cells

double negative T cells


lymphoblastoid cells


monoclonal antibody


mixed lymphocyte reaction


peripheral blood lymphocytes


T cell receptor


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toshihiro Sato
    • 1
  • Masahiko Fujii
    • 1
  • Hideki Satoh
    • 1
  • Tetsuro Itoh
    • 1
  • Hidemi Rikiishi
    • 1
  • Katsuo Kumagai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyTohoku University, School of DentistrySendaiJapan

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