The data in this report describe a T cell proliferation assay with nylon wool column-purified murine lymph node lymphocytes from animals immunized by footpad injection of antigen in CFA. It was found that the in vitro immune response of sensitized T cells to soluble protein antigens was functionally dependent on the presence of adherent cells, more specifically macrophages, at all concentrations of in vitro antigen challenge. The response was due to T cells in that cytotoxic treatment of the immune lymphocyte cells with anti-Thy 1.2 serum and complement effectively eliminated the antigen-specific DNA synthetic responses. The antigen-specific proliferation of murine lymphocytes depleted of adherent cells could not be reconstituted with either guinea pig macrophages nor murine fibroblasts, indicating the existence of species and cell type specificity. In contrast to previous observations in the guinea pig, soluble products of cultured adherent cells could at least partially replace the function of intact macrophages in the response to antigen.

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