Primary sensitisation and restimulation of human lymphocytes with soluble antigen in vitro


RESEARCH with human lymphocytes is restricted by ethical constraints on sensitising individuals in vivo before in vitro experiments. In humans specific restimulation of proliferative responses was first shown using allogeneic lymphocytes as antigen and has since been developed into the primed lymphocyte test1. In a model similar to this test, again using cell-bound antigens, Newman et al.2 showed sensitisation and restimulation by hapten-modified autologous cells. With soluble protein antigens and lymphocytes from donors who had been sensitised to these antigens in vivo, Levis and Dattner3 showed specific restimulation of proliferative responses, after the cells had been cultured in the presence of antigen for 10 or more days. We report here that, using a similar culture method, but cells from individuals who have not been sensitised in vivo to the relevant protein antigens, we have been able to obtain in vitro sensitisation and specific restimulation, sensitisation of the lymphocytes being determined by a subsequent specific proliferative response.

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HENSEN, E., ELFERINK, B. Primary sensitisation and restimulation of human lymphocytes with soluble antigen in vitro. Nature 277, 223–225 (1979).

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