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Immunobiology. 1984 Dec;168(3-5):232-45.

Characterization of lymphokine-mediated activation of macrophages for antigen presentation: studies with long-term cultured bone marrow-derived macrophages and cloned T cells.


In cultures of bone marrow (BM) supplemented with L cell-derived colony-stimulating factor a pure population of macrophages (M phi) differentiates, which can be further propagated with a doubling time of 3.8 days. "Young" BMM phi obtained on day 8 of culture were shown to act as antigen-presenting cells inducing the antigen-specific proliferation of the cloned T cell line ST2/K.9, whereas "old" M phi had lost this ability. However, at any time tested (up to 132 days) the presentation function of old BMM phi could be completely restored by pulsing the cells with lymphokines (LK). A duration of 11 hr for the LK-pulse was sufficient to trigger the M phi to exert an optimal presentation function. This activity could be maintained when the LK-treatment was prolonged (tested up to 17 days). Activation was accompanied by a deceleration of growth. The LK effective in M phi activation were found to be contained in the supernatants of T cell lines stimulated by antigen or mitogen, and could be substituted by a low dose (5-10 units/ml) of recombinant interferon-gamma. In direct comparison LK-triggered BMM phi presented antigen as efficiently as peritoneal exudate M phi activated in vivo by ConA. Moreover, primed lymph node T cells responded to antigen-presenting BMM phi in a similar way as ST2/K.9 T cells. Therefore, these findings obtained with long-term cultured cells can be expected to reflect a physiological mechanism for the amplification of the immune response.

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