Heavy trinitrophenylated sheep red cells (TNP 128SRC) and glutaraldehyde-treated SRC (G-SRC) could not induce cellular cytotoxicity against 51Cr-SRC. In contrast, the native antigen SRC could stimulate a cytolytic response against the radiolabeled homologous target cell. However, fixed SRC could stimulate a priming function that accelerated and augmented the secondary cytotoxic response to SRC. Such fixed antigens could stimulate a delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTHS) response also. Thus, the immunologic memory to the chemically modified antigen, as well as the DTHS response, are completely dissociated from the primary cytotoxic responses.

The primary and the secondary cytotoxic responses that were developed in the spleens of the injected mice were mediated by antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), since the active supernatant that was released from the spleen cells could lyse the target cells in the presence of normal splenocytes. The active supernatant was identified as antibody. We suggest that B effector cells cytolyzed the antibody-coated target cells. Normal cells from nude mice could mediate the cytolytic process as efficiently as spleen cells from other strains of mouse. The results are discussed in terms of selective stimulation of T cell subpopulations.

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