Functional Analysis of Distinct Human T-Cell Subsets Bearing Unique Differentiation Antigens

  • Leonard Chess
  • Stuart F. Schlossman
Part of the Contemporary Topics in Immunobiology book series (CTI, volume 7)


The majority of peripheral blood lymphocytes have differentiated under the influence of the thymus gland to express a number of distinct immunologic functions. Direct analysis of human peripheral T-cell functions in vitro has shown that T cells proliferate and elaborate mediators in response to specific soluble antigens, respond to nonspecific polyclonal mitogens (Geha et al., 1973a; Chess et al., 1974a; Rocklin et al., 1974), proliferate and differentiate into specifically cytotoxic killer cells after triggering by allogeneic target cells (Sondei et al., 1975), and serve as helper or suppressor cells regulating both T-cell functions and the B-cell production of antibody (Waldman et al., 1974; Shou et al., 1976; Friedman et al., 1976). Precise dissection of the cellular mechanisms and interactions involved in these diverse T-cell functions has been facilitated by recent advances in three related areas: (1)the identification of human-lymphocyte subpopulations bearing unique surface determinants; (2) the development of new techniques for the isolation of highly purified subpopulations of human T cells; and (3) the development of in vitro techniques to discriminate the functional behavior of the isolated subsets. In this chapter, we will briefly review some recent findings relative to the isolation and surface characterization of human peripheral T lymphocytes and their subsets, and then focus our attention on the differentiation pathways and the functional heterogeneity among the human T-cell subsets.


Migration Inhibitory Factor Tetanus Toxoid Normal Rabbit Serum Null Cell Soluble Antigen 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard Chess
    • 1
  • Stuart F. Schlossman
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Tumor Immunology, Sidney Farber Cancer Institute and Department of MedicineHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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