Rabbit spleen and mesenteric lymph node cells were treated with a monoclonal anti-rabbit T-lymphocyte antibody (MAb) and complement and the effect of the treatment on various lymphocyte functions was determined. Lysis of spleen and mesenteric lymph node cells reactive with this MAb, 9AE10, essentially eliminated their proliferative responsiveness to allogeneic lymphocytes in the mixed lymphocyte reaction and to the T-cell mitogens, concanavalin A and phytohaemagglutinin; responsiveness to the B-cell mitogen, anti-immunoglobulin (Ig) was not decreased by lysis of 9AE10+ cells. In addition, the 9AE10+ cells were found to be necessary for the secondary in vitro antibody response to the T-dependent antigen sheep red blood cells (SRBC), as removal of 9AE10+ cells blocked the generation of plaque forming cells (PFC) in culture. The PFC's themselves were not sensitive to lysis by 9AE10 MAb and complement Thus, the 9AE10 MAb appears to recognize cells which have functions characteristic of T lymphocytes and this monoclonal antibody will be useful in further studies of the rabbit cellular immune system
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