U937 cells provide a co-stimulatory signal for CD3-mediated T-cell activation which is independent of the CD28/CD80/CD86 interaction. This study set out to identify which molecules contribute to this co-stimulatory activity. Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) to the known accessory molecules CD11a, CD18, CD54 and CD45, all inhibited T-cell proliferation. Although CD11a/18 mAb inhibited U937/T-cell cluster formation as well as proliferation, CD45 enhanced the size of the clusters formed, suggesting that this was not the only mechanism of inhibition. The alternative co-stimulatory pathway provided by U937 cells preferentially stimulated a response in the CD18+ T-cell population, and this reflected the reduced sensitivity of CD8+ T cells to CD28-mediated activation. Monoclonal antibodies to three molecules, CD53, CD98 and CD147, also inhibited U937-dependent T-cell proliferation. The mAb to CD98 and CD147 were inhibitory when prepulsed on to the U937 cells, suggesting an effect mediated by these molecules on the antigen-presenting cell
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