T cells made CD4- by ganglioside (GMI) treatment were cultured in antisense oligodeoxynucleotides complementary to mRNA for CD4. Antisense treatments decreased CD4 levels by 45% but did not prolong the total CD4 modulation by GMI pretreatment. Northern blot analysis demonstrated that CD4 message production did not change after ganglioside modulation and consequently that it was different from antisense CD4 modulation. However, modulation of CD4 from the cell surface by either GM1 or antisense resulted in greater proliferation and enhanced DTH when challenged with recall antigen. These results demonstrate that selective decrease of CD4 increased antigen-specific T cell responses.
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