After transfer into heavily-irradiated allogeneic mice, spleen cells were found to produce two types of effector cells directed against the recipient alloantigens, namely alloantibody plaque-forming cells (PFC) and cytotoxic lymphocytes (CL). Both types of effector cells were detectable in vitro by virtue of their lytic effect on target cells carrying the recipient alloantigens.
Alloantibody PFC activity was dependent on the presence of an exogenous source of complement and could be inhibited by the addition of heterologous antisera to mouse µ-chain or Fab fragment in the assay system. CL activity was independent of added complement, was not affected by anti-immunoglobulin antisera, but was inhibited by the addition of antibody against target cell alloantigens. Treatment of the transferred spleen cells with anti-θ-serum and complement before in vitro assays for PFC and CL completely abolished the CL activity but had no effect on alloantibody-plaque formation. These results indicate that the two types of effector cells can be differentiated in vitro by virtue of their susceptibility to anti-θ-serum and the mechanisms by which they cause cell lysis.