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Clin Immunol Immunopathol. 1986 Sep;40(3):485-96.

Characterization of functional T-cell lines derived from MRL mice.


In an effort to characterize further the role of T cells in the autoimmune disease of MRL/Mp-lpr/lpr (lpr) mice, continuous cell lines were established from spleen and lymph nodes using EL-4 lymphoma supernatants as a source of T-cell growth factor(s). Five lines were derived from lpr spleen and lymph nodes, and an equal number from MRL/Mp- +/+ (+/+). All of the lines lost their alloreactivity after a short time in culture. Surprisingly, every line manifested marked proliferation in response to autologous irradiated spleen cells. This response was restricted to I-Ak, as it was blocked with monoclonal anti-I-Ak antibodies, and as B10.A(4R) accessory cells were stimulatory while B10.A(3R) were not. There was no difference in the degree of stimulation from lpr accessory cells compared to that in those from +/+ or other H-2k mice. The T-cell lines bore Thy-1, Ly-1, L3T4, and 7D4 (interleukin 2 (IL-2) receptor), but lacked Ly-2 and surface Ig. They proliferated in response to both conventional and recombinant DNA-derived IL-2. When cocultured with Ia-identical B cells, the T-cell lines provoked B-cell division and antibody production. The cells also caused intense proliferation when cultured with freshly isolated lpr (but not +/+) lymph node cells. The results indicate that lpr lymphoid tissue contains functional T cells reactive to autologous Ia molecules and capable of inducing both B-cell activation and the proliferation of lpr lymphocytes. Such cells may be of importance in inducing hypergammaglobulinemia, autoantibody production, and lymphoproliferation in these SLE mice.

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