Conjugation of the T cell receptor (TCR) with antigen/MHC proteins must be accompanied by conjugation of T cell counterreceptors (CD28 or CTLA-4) with costimulatory molecules CD80 or CD86 (B7-1 or B7-2) on antigen presenting cells (APC) to avert T cell anergy, and to provide essential signals for T cell activation and cytokine production. However, T cells and APC express changing patterns of counterreceptors and costimulatory molecules during the immune response. To determine the involvement of CD80 and CD86 in costimulation of T cell cytokine production, T cells were incubated with peritoneal exudate macrophages, which express CD80 and CD86, and stimulated in vitro for 48 or 72 hrs with anti-CD3 in the presence or absence of blocking antibody to CD80 or CD86. Alternatively, enriched anti-CD3 stimulated T cells were costimulated with antibody to CD28 and CTLA-4. Production of T cell IL-2, IL-4, and IL-5 was depressed in the presence of anti-CD86 but not anti-CD80. Production of IFN-γ was significantly blocked by either anti-CD80 and anti-CD86. Anti-CD28 was a potent costimulator of IFN-γ and IL-2 production, but a less potent costimulator of IL-4 and IL-5 production. The data suggest that T cell counterreceptors and APC costimulatory molecules act with varying efficacies at stimulating production of T cell cytokines.
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