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The effect on certain immune responses of depleting two distinct lymphocyte subpopulations in vivo by inoculating calves with monoclonal antibodies (mAb) was examined. An mAb directed against the BoT4 antigen (the bovine homologue of CD4) effectively removed the BoT4+ lymphocytes from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBM). Compared to controls, treated calves showed a reduced antibody response to human O red blood cells and to ovalbumin. PBM prepared from BoT4-depleted animals also had a significantly reduced ability to respond in vitro to the mitogens phytohemagglutinin, concanavalin A and pokeweed mitogen. An mAb directed against a second numerically large bovine lymphocyte subpopulation i.e. BoT2-, BoT4-, BoT8- (CD2-, CD4-, CD8-), that may be homologous to the CD4-, CD8- cells in man and rodents that synthesize the gamma/delta+ T cell receptor, was also used for in vivo depletion. Compared to controls, calves depleted of this subpopulation showed an enhanced antibody response. The proliferative response of PBM to pokeweed mitogen was also significantly increased but responses to concanavalin A and phytohemagglutinin remained unchanged. The results suggest this lymphocyte subpopulation has a nonspecific suppressor activity acting on B cell responses either directly or through an effect on T helper cells. The non-T4/T8 cells are found extensively in the epithelium and lamina propria of the mucosa of the alimentary tract but not in T cell areas of the lymph nodes, tonsil and spleen. These non-T4/T8 cells may thus be, or contain, an intraepithelial lymphocyte population with a suppressor function.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Immunol

Publication Date





757 - 764


Animals, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antibody Formation, Antigen-Antibody Reactions, Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, CD8 Antigens, Cattle, Erythrocytes, Immunoenzyme Techniques, Lymph Nodes, Lymphocyte Activation, Ovalbumin, Spleen, T-Lymphocytes, Tissue Distribution