Histidine-rich glycoprotein blocks T cell rosette formation and modulates both T cell activation and immunoregulation.
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Histidine-rich glycoprotein (HRGP) is a plasma and platelet protein with undefined function in vivo. It has been reported to inhibit rosette formation between murine T cells and erythrocytes. We have shown that HRGP binds specifically to human T lymphocytes but not sheep erythrocytes and have demonstrated a 56-kDa HRGP-binding protein on the T cell surface which is distinct from the CD2 sheep erythrocyte receptor. We have now investigated whether HRGP can inhibit human T cell-sheep erythrocyte rosette formation and whether HRGP can modulate T cell activation. HRGP at physiologic concentrations specifically inhibited rosette formation between human T lymphocytes and sheep erythrocytes. HRGP suppressed proliferation of antigen receptor (CD3)-triggered T cells induced by interleukin 2; this suppression was specifically reversed by prior incubation of HRGP with affinity-purified anti-HRGP IgG. Addition of HRGP 12-24 h after CD3 triggering no longer suppressed T cell proliferation, suggesting HRGP suppressed T cell division by interfering with one or more early events in the process of T cell activation. Human serum (containing 100-150 micrograms/ml HRGP) was also capable of suppressing T cell proliferation; serum which had been immunodepleted of HRGP no longer inhibited T cell proliferation. Furthermore, HRGP inhibited interleukin 2 receptor expression on activated T cells, causing decreased T cell interferon-gamma release and altered T cell-dependent inhibition of erythropoiesis. HRGP is thus capable of modulating T cell activation and T cell immunoregulation; HRGP may function as a natural suppressive regulator of human T lymphocyte activation.
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