Cell-mediated lympholysis (CML) to trinitrophenyl (TNP)-modified autologous splenic lymphocytes has been recently reported in the mouse (1). Both the sensitization and effector phases of this phenomenon were shown to be T-cell mediated. Effector cell specificity studies indicated that modification of the target cells is a necessary but insufficient requirement for cytolysis, and suggested that altered cell surface components controlled by genes mapping in the mouse major histocompatibility H-2 complex (MHC) are important in the specificity of the cytotoxic reaction (1). In allogeneic models the generation of cytotoxic effector cells has been shown to be preceded or accompanied by immunogen- induced proliferation of responding lymphocytes, i.e. a mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) (2-5), although the generation of effectors may not necessarily always be the consequence of extensive cell proliferation (5). If the induction of cytotoxic effector lymphocytes by modified syngeneic spleen cells is characteristic of sensitization with cellular alloantigens, one would expect to find that sensitization with TNP-modified autologous cells would also induce thymidine incorporation by the responding cells in the culture. The present report demonstrates that both stimulation of thymidine incorporation and generation of cytotoxic effector cells are part of the in vitro response to TNP-modified autologous lymphocytes. However, the MLR to TNP- modified autologous cells consistently appeared to be less pronounced when compared with an allogeneic MLR, whereas the cytotoxic activity of the effector cells generated by sensitization against TNP-modified autologous cells was frequently as high as that detected against H-2 alloantigens. These two components of reactivity to modified self are verified in several C57BL/10 congenic and B10.A recombinant mouse strains.

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