A murine monoclonal antibody, OKT16, specific for human lymphocytes of T lineage, was isolated by standard immunization and hybridization techniques. The distribution of the antigen defined by OKT16 was similar to the antigen reactive with monoclonal antibodies 3A1 and WT1. This identity of antigen targets was confirmed in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay system and by sequential immunoprecipitation. Under reducing conditions, OKT16 reacted with an antigen of 40K daltons; however, under nonreducing conditions this antigen appeared as an 84K- dalton molecule, which suggests that the p40 antigen exists as a disulfide-linked dimer. By indirect immunofluorescence, OKT16 reacted with a greater fraction of nonrosetting, non-B (null) lymphocytes than with antibodies to other T cell-specific proteins. Two-color immunofluorescence demonstrated the coexpression of the T16 antigen and the C3bi receptor on most null cells. The T10 antigen (found on cortical thymocytes and activated peripheral T cells) was restricted to most T16-bearing null cells and expression of the Fc receptor for aggregated IgG (defined by monoclonal antibody 73.1) was restricted to a major subset of T16-bearing null cells. The T cell-specific markers defined by OKT8, OKT11, and OKT17, as well as the monocyte marker defined by OKM5, were expressed by smaller subsets of OKT16-reactive null cells. These studies support by phenotypic analysis the functional heterogeneity ascribed to null cells. The 40K-dalton T16 antigen has the most extensive null cell representation of all the T lineage markers described to date.

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