Soluble CD8 during T cell activation

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Pediatrics

Publication Date


Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The CD8 Ag has long been used as a surface marker for the identification of cytotoxic and suppressor cells. Recently CD8-positive cells have been shown to release a soluble form of the CD8 Ag. We have devised a sandwich monoclonal enzyme immunoassay for the quantitation of this released CD8. Soluble CD8 was released in response to lymphocyte activation. In vitro, PHA or anti-CD3 mAb-mediated T cell activation led to release of CD8 into the culture supernatant. In vivo, serum from patients with EBV-induced infectious mononucleosis (IM), a disease associated with intense CD8+ T cell activation, demonstrated elevations in soluble CD8 (7939 U/ml, day 0) compared to serum from normal controls (289 U/ml). Levels of soluble CD8 correlated (r = 0.82, p less than 0.001) with the increased percentage of CD8+/HLA-DR+ (activated CD8+ T cells) observed in acute IM. Sequential analysis of serum during the course of IM shows that soluble CD8 levels parallel the decline in CD8+/HLA-DR+ cells that occurs with the resolution of the disease. These data suggest that released CD8 may be of value in monitoring the involvement of CD8+ T cells in response to a pathologic event. The functional role of the released CD8 molecule will require further investigation.


J Immunol. 1989 Apr 1;142(7):2230-6.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID