We have demonstrated the ability of a series of murine T cell hybridomas to deliver an antigen-specific, B cell I-region-restricted helper signal in the generation of specific PFC responses to protein-bound haptens. With some hybridomas the elicitation of optimal PFC responses required the addition of nonspecific factors provided by culture supernatants of concanavalin A-stimulated (Con A SN) spleen cells. Using hapten-primed B cells depleted of both T cells and macrophages (Mphi) we have now demonstrated a requirement for three nonspecific factor preparations to substitute for spleen Con A SN in the elicitation of optimal PFC responses. The first preparation was the interleukin 1 containing culture supernatant of the Mphi tumor cell line P388D1, the second the interleukin 2 (IL-2) and B cell growth factor containing Con A SN of the T cell hybridoma FS6-14.13, and the third, the gamma interferon containing Con A SN of the T cell hybridoma FS7-20.6.18. The P388D1 and FS6-14.13 factor preparations were most effective when added at the initiation of culture, while the FS7-20.6.18 factor preparation was most effective when added at 24 h of culture. The activity of FS6-14.13 Con A SN was depleted by incubation with the IL-2-dependent T cell line HT-2. The activity of FS7-20.6.18 Con A SN was abrogated by incubation at pH 2. The results suggest that the generation of PFC responses to protein-bound haptens require at least three nonspecific factors in addition to an antigen/Ia specific helper signal.

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