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Immunology. 1980 Jan;39(1):21-7.

Distribution of immunogenic cells after painting with the contact sensitizers fluorescein isothiocyanate and oxazolone. Different sensitizers form immunogenic complexes with different cell populations.


The distribution of fluorescent cells in the draining lymph nodes of mice painted with the contact sensitizing agent fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) was investigated using a fluorescence-activated cell sorter. Up to 30% of the cells were fluorescent after 18 h and this decreased thereafter becoming undetectable after 4-5 days. Most of the fluorescent cells were morphologically lymphocytes, theta - ve and adherent to nylon wool. Immunogenicity of these cells was tested by injecting them into the footpads of normal mice and measuring contact sensitivity after 6 days. This was restricted to large cells which represented less than 5% of the white cell population and nearly all of which became fluorescent after skin painting. The large fluorescent cells were a mixture of monocytes and lymphocytes. Most of the lymphocytes had surface immunoglobulin. The immunogenicity was reduced by nylon filtration but was not affected by silica and anti-theta. These results showed that the immunogenicity is not associated with T cells. In contrast, similar immunogenic activity in the draining lymph nodes of mice painted with oxazolone is associated with T cells. The results therefore showed that different sensitizers form immunogenic complexes with different cell populations, perhaps in this case becuase of the different water solubilities of FITC and oxazolone. They also suggested that this may cause important differences in antigen presentation, for example in their association with different MHC products.

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