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Different target antigens for T-cell subsets acting synergistically in vivo

Naturevolume 286pages895896 (1980) | Download Citation



After allogenic transplantation of lymphoid cells into immunologically incompetent recipients, a graft-versus-host (GvH) reaction can occur. The original observation that the GvH reaction is mediated by two interacting types of T cell1 has led to the proposal that T cells must be subdivided into two sub-populations according to life span and migratory properties. These consist of T1 cells, which are short-lived, sessile cells sensitive to adult thymectomy (ATx), and T2 cells, which are long-lived, recirculating cells sensitive to anti-thymocyte serum (ATS)2. T1–T2 cooperation has also been demonstrated in vitro in murine3 and rat4 mixed lymphocyte culture. The question arises as to whether these T-cell subpopulations are activated by different or identical parts of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). We report here that for optimal development of the anti-host immune response in a murine GvH reaction, T2 cells have to be amplified by T1 cells. The former cells are activated by a set of MHC gene products that are expressed mainly on immunological cells (H–2I-coded antigens), whereas the latter recognize a different set of MHC gene products that are expressed on almost all cells of the mouse (H–2K/D-coded antigens).

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  1. Department of Cell Biology & Genetics, Erasmus University, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

    • Emile A. J. Wolters
  2. Basel Institute for Immunology, Basel, Switzerland

    • Robbert Benner


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