The cell-mediated cytotoxicity (CMC) of nonadherent cells from the peritoneal cavity (NAPC) of alloimmunized mice can be measured by the [3H]proline microassay. The exhibition of thymus-derived (T) cell antigens on these killer cells was studied by incubating them with the relevant T-cell antisera and complement (C), under optimal conditions for lysis, before performance of the CMC assay. Under these conditions, the following T-cell antigens were demonstrable on the killer population in terms of percent reduction in CMC by the respective antisera: (a) Thy-1.1 (83%) and Thy-1.2 (100%), (b) MSLA (86%), (c) NTA-RA (a T-cell antigen recognized by naturally occurring autoantibody of NZB mice) (62%), (d) Ly1.1 )58%, (e) Ly-2.1 (11%; considered a marginal result) and Ly-2.2 (63%), and (f) Ly-3.2 (77%). The following were not demonstrable: (g) TL, and (h) Ly-1.2. (i) The antigen Ly-3.1 was not studied. Omission of C deprived all T-cell antisera tested of their capacity to suppress CMC, indicating that the cell components recognized by such antisera may perform no direct function in CMC. On the assumption that all Ly+ cells are Thy-1+, it is clear that the T-cell members of the immune NAPC population must be heterogenous. This follows from the fact that the proportions of T cells lysed by different Ly antisera did not correspond with ensuing degree of loss of CMC capacity. The extremes were represented by anti-Ly-1.2 (74% Thy-1+ cells lysed, but no reduction in CMC) and Ly-3.2 (54% Thy-1+ cells lysed, with 77% reduction in CMC). From this initial survey it appears that the C57BL/6 mice killer T-cell population active in CMC in vitro is relatively rich in surface antigens of the Ly-2/Ly-3 category and relatively poor in representation of the Ly-1 surface antigens. It remains to be seen whether this killer cell phenotype, poor in Ly-1 and rich in Ly-2/Ly-3, is characteristic of the mouse generally. From these results it appears that subsets of T cells with different immunological functions may exhibit qualitative or quantitative differences in surface antigens specified by different Ly loci; this will be easier to assess in the future when the results of experiments with the same Ly antisera but dealing with T-cell functions other than CMC become available.

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