The activation of T cells (EL4 and BW5147) was examined when they were sensitized with monoclonal antibodies against CD3/CD28 followed by irradiation with atmospheric oxygen plasma. The proliferation of EL4 and BW5147 T cells sensitized by anti-CD3/CD28 was evaluated as a function of the duration of oxygen plasma irradiation. Plasma irradiation significantly promoted cell proliferation; when plasma irradiation was applied to sensitized T cells for 50 s, cell numbers increased 1.8 times over 24 h compared with cells that were not exposed to irradiation. We compared IFN-gamma production between EL4 T cells and BW5147 T cells after plasma irradiation. The results indicated that the IFN-gamma production in EL4 T cells tends to increase under most conditions compared with controls (without plasma irradiation), while in BW5147 T cells, due to few active oxygen species produced from plasma irradiation, IFN-gamma tends not to increase for any irradiation periods compared with the control. In addition, gene expression analysis of EL4 T cells indicated that MAPK-related ERK genes and IFNG genes were upregulated by oxygen plasma irradiation, which proves that plasma irradiation enhances immune function.
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