Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Program

Biomedical Sciences

Date of Award

June 1993

Abstract

Macrophages play an important role in host antimicrobial immunity and in non-septic inflammatory reactions. Most studies on macrophage activation have focused on the roles of the T cell-produced cytokine, interferon-$\gamma$ (IFN$\gamma)$ and bacterial product, lipopolysaccharide (LPS). T cell-macrophage interaction is a critical step in initiating both specific and nonspecific immune responses to antigenic stimulation. The current study examines the role of cognate T cell-macrophage interaction in activation of macrophage effector functions and induction of macrophage early activation gene expression. Viable resting T$\sb{\rm H}$2 clone cells can activate IFN$\gamma$-primed macrophages to produce reactive nitrogen intermediates (RNI) or express cytostatic activity. The activating signal is mediated by cognate membrane contact between T cells and macrophages as evidenced by the ability of paraformaldehyde fixed anti-CD3-activated T$\sb{\rm H}$2 cells or plasma membranes isolated from the activated T cells to activate the IFN$\gamma$-primed macrophages. In contrast to the antigen-specific interaction of macrophages with viable resting T$\sb{\rm H}$2 cells, the activation of IFN$\gamma$-primed macrophages by fixed activated T$\sb{\rm H}$2 cells or by membranes from activated T$\sb{\rm H}$2 cells does not display antigen specificity. Fixed resting T$\sb{\rm H}$2 cells or plasma membranes isolated from the resting T cells can not activate the IFN$\gamma$-primed macrophages. Similar results are obtained with use of fresh splenic T cells to induce macrophage RNI production and cytostasis. Monoclonal antibody against CD4, which presumably blocks the interaction between CD4 (a co-receptor of T cell receptor) and class II MHC molecules on macrophages, inhibits significantly the activation of IFN$\gamma$-primed macrophages by viable resting T$\sb{\rm H}$2 cells but does not inhibit the ability of fixed activated T$\sb{\rm H}$2 cells to activate the macrophages. To examine the intracellular events in macrophages initiated by the cognate signaling, the expression of a panel of macrophage early activation genes, c-Myc, c-Fos, JE, IP10, D3, TNF$\alpha$ and IL-$\alpha$, are analyzed by dot blot hybridization. Plasma membranes from activated T$\sb{\rm H}$2 cells induce the expression of all these genes in macrophages stimulated for 1-4 hour. In contrast, the plasma membranes from resting T$\sb{\rm H}$2 cells are unable to induce the expression of most of the genes examined. These results suggest that the T cell-macrophage interaction involves reciprocal activation of both cells--an antigen specific activation of the T cells which results in the acquisition of T cell membrane components involved in antigen nonspecific activation of the macrophages. The nature of those T cell membrane components involved in cognate signaling of macrophage is currently being investigated.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

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