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Eur J Immunol. 1995 Mar;25(3):664-71.

Individual differences in the orientation of the cytolytic T cell response against mouse tumor P815.

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, UCL 74.59, Brussels, Belgium.


We reported previously that the mouse tumor P815 expresses four distinct antigens (A, B, C, D) recognized by syngeneic cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTL). A fifth P815 antigen (E) was identified by means of a CTL clone derived from tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. We compared a number of mice for the orientation of their CTL response with respect to the various P815 antigens. Lymphocytes from mice inoculated subcutaneously with living P815 cells were stimulated in vitro with tumor cells and the resulting CTL were tested against targets expressing either antigens A and B or antigens C, D and E. Many mice had an asymmetrical response, some producing CTL directed almost exclusively against antigens A, B and others producing CTL directed almost exclusively against C, D. E. When mice were inoculated into two separate sites, different orientations in the responses of the two local lymph nodes were often observed, suggesting that individual differences in the orientation of the anti-P815 CTL response do not result from preexisting differences between the animals. Asymmetrical CTL responses persisted in mice that were given a second injection of tumor cells. A possible interpretation of our results is that the major component of the CTL response is made of the progeny of a very small number of CTL precursors that happen to be the first to be stimulated by the tumor antigens.

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