Defective T helper activity in the spleen of BALB/c mice immune to a syngeneic fibrosarcoma

Laura Grazioli, Marialuisa Sensi, Giorgio Parmiani

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BALB/c mice were immunized with the syngeneic 3-methylcholanthrene-induced fibrosarcoma CA-2 by the growth and excision method. When lymphoid cells from different organs of these tumor-free mice were tested in a direct 51Cr-release assay, peritoneal exudate cells but not spleen cells displayed specific cytotoxicity against the syngeneic tumor target. A cytotoxic response could be obtained by tumor-immune spleen cells when cultured in a mixed lymphocyte tumor cell culture (MLTC) at high but not low density although at the same effector/stimulator ratio. Lack of cytotoxic activity in low density MLTC was not due to an impairment of cytotoxic precursors since cytotoxicity was rescued by adding exogenous interleukin-2 in experimental conditions in which no lymphokine-activated killer cells could develop relevant anti-CA-2 lysis. When low density MLTC were supplemented with either 800 R-irradiated cells or nonirradiated, negatively selected Lyt 1+ cells from the same immune mice, induction of a cytotoxic response against CA-2 occurred and interleukin-2 production became detectable. Additional studies indicated that spleen cells of CA-2-immune mice were also impaired in their ability to provide help to syngeneic thymocytes for the generation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes against C57BL/6J alloantigens. Dilution effect of helper cells due to immunization procedures was excluded since spleen cells of mice immunized against another BALB/c tumor, the YC8 lymphoma, or against DBA/2 minor histocompatibility antigens provided good help to thymocytes against the same alloantigens. These results indicate that tumor-immune animals may also have selective T helper defects in an important lymphoid organ like spleen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-243
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Immunology
  • Cancer Research


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