Characterization and function of autoreactive T-lymphocyte clones isolated from normal, unprimed mice

Prakash S. Nagarkatti, E. Charles Snow, Alan M. Kaplan

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30 Scopus citations


Self-Ia-reactive cloned T-cell lines, designated PK, were established by long-term culture of T cells from normal DBA/2 mice with irradiated syngeneic splenic adherent cells (SAC), rich in macrophages and dendritic cells. The cell lines were Thy 1+, Lyt 1+, Lyt 2-, produced IL-2 following stimulation with syngeneic spleen cells, and did not exhibit alloreactivity when screened against six different H-2 haplotypes. Of the five cloned PK cell lines tested, four were I-Ed restricted while one was I-Ad restricted as determined by genetic mapping and blocking studies carried out with monoclonal anti-Ia sera. Extensive specificity studies suggested that the PK cells reacted to syngeneic Ia molecules alone and not to foreign antigens such as fetal calf serum (FCS) used in the culture medium, in association with self-Ia. SAC pulsed with FCS or other protein antigens such as turkey γ-globulin (TGG) were tested for their ability to induce proliferation of autoreactive T cells and other antigen-specific T cells using culture conditions consisting of serumless medium and interleukin 2 (IL-2). The data showed that the autoreactive T cells proliferated better in response to antigen-unpulsed SAC, while FCS-specific and TGG-specific cell lines, developed independently, proliferated only in response to FCS- or TGG-pulsed SAC, respectively, but not to antigen-unpulsed SAC. These results clearly distinguished the autoreactive T-cell clones from the antigen-specific T-cell clones. Preliminary studies carried out to investigate the functions of autoreactive T cells suggested that these cells helped in the in vitro differentiation of alloantigen-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) from CTL precursors obtained from the thymus and augmented syngeneic, allogeneic, and antigen-specific immune responses in vitro. The autoreactive T cells were also capable of inducing both proliferation and differentiation of antigen-specific populations of B cells in the absence of antigen. The present investigation suggests that autoreactive, non-antigen-reactive T cells can be cloned from normal, unimmunized mice and that such cell lines may provide a powerful tool for analyzing the role of the syngeneic mixed lymphocyte reaction in induction and maintenance of both T- and B-cell immune responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-48
Number of pages17
JournalCellular Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1985

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
’ Supported in part by National Institute of Health Grants CA 34052 and CA 33629 and pursuant to a contract from the National Foundation for Cancer Research. ’ Abbreviations used CTL, cytotoxic T lymphocyte; FCS, fetal calf serum; HGG, human -y-globulin; HS, human serum; IDMH, Iscove’s modification of Dulbecco’s medium and Ham’s F-12 nutrient mixture containing insulin and transferrin; IL2, interleukin 2; MHC, major histocompatibility complex; MLC, mixed lymphocyte culture; PFC, plaque-forming cells; RFC, rosette-forming cells; SAC, splenic adherent cells; SMLR, syngeneic or autologous mixed lymphocyte reaction; SRBC, sheep red blood cells; SIg,

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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