The nature of the helper lymphocytes in lymphocytosis-promoting factor (LPF)-induced proliferation was explored. Removal of macrophages from adherent splenocytes by either carbonyl-iron incubation or passage through Sephadex G-10 columns did not affect their synergistic function. Nor did cytolysis with Thy-1.2 antiserum and complement. The helper cells were found to be surface immunoglobulin-positive (sIg+) because they are retained by anti-Ig columns, susceptible to lysis by rabbit anti-mouse immunoglobulin and complement, and occurred in the sIg+ fractions of splenocytes after separation on the fluorescence-activated cell sorter. Further delineation of the surface markers on helper cells showed that complement receptors are not the determining marker for synergistic function. The requirement for B-helper cells in the stimulation of T lymphocytes by LPF is unique for a mouse of T-cell mitogen.

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