Here, we explore the conditions required for generating two different highly potent F1 antiparental killer cell populations to unusual antigens in rats. The first, L/DA anti-DA, has lytic specificity for two antigen systems: MTA, a mitochondrial antigen expressed on DA and DA Lewis (L) target cells restricted by RT1A class I molecules; and H, an antigen that maps to the class I-like RT1C region and is present only on parental target cells from donors homozygous at the major histocompatibility complex. The second killer population is generated in the reciprocal DA/L anti-DA combination and has lytic specificity only for the H antigen system. We show that the killer cells are T cells, and that generation of these F1 cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) requires an in vivo priming step in which it is essential that the inoculated parental cells bear the relevant target antigens and possess alloreactivity for F1 host antigens. The requirement for alloreactivity and antigen on the same priming cell population suggests that these potent lytic responses depend on a situation akin to a hapten-carrier effect that bypasses otherwise ineffective helper responses by the host to these unusual antigens. Restimulation of F1 lymphocytes in culture is also necessary, requiring the presence of antigen on irradiated lymphoblast stimulator cells, but alloreactivity to responder cell antigens is not necessary; normal, nonactivated lymph node cells are completely ineffective as stimulators. For effective lysis, the target cells need not possess the potential for alloreactivity to responder F1 CTL. We also demonstrate in a preliminary way additional antigen systems defined by killer populations raised with other F1 antiparental strain combinations.

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