Recognition of hapten-modified cells in vitro by human T lymphocytes

Academic Article


  • Clearer definition of the recognitive structures of human T lymphocytes for antigens will be required to elucidate the molecular basis of diseases and immunological responses induced or regulated by normal or abnormal T-cell function. For this purpose we have investigated the cellular requirements for immune responses in vitro to trinitrophenyl-conjugated peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The responding cell was characterized as a T cell on the basis of rosetting with sheep erythrocytes. T-cell recognition of hapten in proliferative responses depended upon presentation of antigen in an appropriate stimulator-cell context. Neither autologous hapten-modified erythrocytes nor T cells restimulated responses of in vitro-primed lymphocytes. Moreover, hapten-conjugated non-T cells were more effective than modified unfractionated cells in restimulating proliferative responses. Both macrophages and non-T lymphocytes effectively restimulated hapten-conjugate responses. Cell-mixing experiments indicated that the failure of haptenated T cells to stimulate proliferative responses was not because of a lack of fresh macrophages; these experiments suggested instead that T cells do not express appropriate structures necessary to present haptenic determinants in an immunogenic form. Hapten-modified T cells, however, were capable of inducing primed lymphocytes to become efficient cytotoxic effector cells, indicating that T-cell recognitive units for stimulation of proliferative and cytoxic responses are different. These data support the concept that for induction of proliferative responses, human T cells recognize conventional antigens in association with HLA-D region-encoded Ia-like molecules.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Seldin MF; Rich RR; Abramson SL
  • Start Page

  • 967
  • End Page

  • 976
  • Volume

  • 64
  • Issue

  • 4