Concanavalin A-mediated in vitro activation of a secondary cytotoxic T-cell response in virus-primed splenocytes

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In a recent report it was shown that what appeared to be secondary cytotoxic T cells could be obtained from lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV)-primed splenocytes after stimulation in vitro with the non-specific T cell mitogen concanavalin A (Con A). The present experiments attempt to characterize further these effector cells and, in particular, to establish whether the Con A-activated cytotoxic effectors are qualitatively different from the secondary cytotoxic T cells induced by restimulation with the homologous antigen. It was found that: (1) in vitro activation with Con A could be obtained with populations harvested between 13 days (the earliest tested) and at least 300 days after priming; (2) cytotoxicity was independent of the presence of carried-over Con A in the cytotoxicity assay; (3) cytotoxicity was dependent on close association between activated T cells and target cells, since no evidence was found to indicate a role for other cell types or soluble (cytotoxic or arming) factors; (4) cytotoxicity was specific with regard to both virus and 'self'. By comparison with previous data on LCMV-induced cytotoxic T cells, it is concluded that Con A induces the generation of cytotoxic T cells from LCMV-primed splenocytes, which, by the criteria used, are indistinguishable from virus-induced secondary cytotoxic T cells. The implications of these findings are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Immunology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)109-18
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1980

Bibliographical note

Keywords: Animals; Antibodies, Viral; Concanavalin A; Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic; Cytotoxicity, Immunologic; Epitopes; Female; Lymphocyte Activation; Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus; Male; Mice; Spleen; T-Lymphocytes

ID: 9702515