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Cell. 1982 Aug;30(1):141-52.

The fine specificity of antigen and Ia determinant recognition by T cell hybridoma clones specific for pigeon cytochrome c.


The activation of proliferative T lymphocytes normally involves the simultaneous recognition of a particular foreign antigen and a particular Ia molecule on the surface of antigen-presenting cells, the phenomenon of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) restriction. An analysis of T cell clones specific for pigeon cytochrome c, from B10.A and B10.S(9R) strains of mice, revealed the unusual finding that several of the clones could respond to antigen in association with Ia molecules from either strain. Using these cross-reactive clones, we performed experiments which demonstrated that both the Ia molecule and the T cell receptor contribute to the specificity of antigen recognition; however, MHC-linked low responsiveness to tuna cytochrome c (an immune response gene defect) could not be attributed solely to the efficacy with which the Ia molecules associated with the antigen. These results imply that antigen and Ia molecules are not recognized independently, but must interact at least during the process of T cell activation.

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