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J Immunol. 1990 Jul 1;145(1):52-8.

Resistance to H-2-restricted but not to allo-H2-specific graft and cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses in lymphoma mutant.

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Department of Tumor Biology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


The lymphoma mutant RMA-S escaped graft rejection after transplantation over a minor histocompatibility barrier, whereas it was rejected in H-2 allogeneic mice. The parental control line was rejected in both situations. The mutant, which had been selected against MHC class I molecules retained 5 to 10% of the wild-type H-2Db, Kb, and beta 2-microglobulin expression on the cell surface. It remained sensitive to allo-H-2b CTL in vitro, but was completely resistant to minor histocompatibility antigen-specific, H-2b-restricted CTL. It was equally resistant to other H-2b-restricted responses against internally derived Ag, such as tumor-specific CTL or a CTL clone specific for the influenza virus nucleoprotein. The results indicate a target cell defect that selectively abolishes the sensitivity to H-2-restricted CTL directed against internally processed Ag. This appears sufficient to shift the transplantation response over a minor histocompatibility Ag barrier from rejection to acceptance. There are two possible explanations for the results: 1) a block in the MHC class I-directed pathway for internal Ag processing, and 2) subthreshold H-2/Ag ligand density in relation to triggering requirements of restricted CTL. Regardless of the type of defect, the results demonstrate a difference between allo-H-2-specific and H-2-restricted CTL recognition at the level of the target cell.

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