In this communication the effects of glutaraldehyde treatment of trinitrophenyl-(TNP) modified macrophages on their ability to stimulate TNP-specific guinea pig T lymphocyte proliferation were studied. TNP-modified macrophages briefly treated with glutaraldehyde retained much of their ability to stimulate TNP-primed T cells. In contrast, similar treatment of allogeneic macrophages or soluble protein antigen-pulsed syngeneic macrophages completely eliminated their ability to stimulate a mixed leukocyte reaction or protein antigen-specific proliferation, respectively. TNP-modification did not appear to interfere with glutaraldehyde reactivity since macrophages treated with glutaraldehyde before or after TNP-modification stimulated equivalent T cell responses. However, glutaraldehyde treatment of TNP-modified macrophages that had been cultured overnight dramatically reduced their ability to stimulate TNP-specific T cells. Glutaraldehyde-treated TNP-modified macrophages also expressed the same genetic restrictions of T cell activation as untreated stimulators. Thus, T cells primed with syngeneic TNP-modified macrophages were restimulated only by glutaraldehyde-treated TNP-modified syngeneic, but not by allogeneic, macrophages. These results are discussed with respect to the nature of the TNP-specific immunogen recognized by T cells.

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