The in vitro activation of spleen cells from donor rats immunized with myelin basic protein results in enhanced adoptive transfer of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis to syngeneic recipients. In this study, adoptive transfer was inhibited when monoclonal antibody W3/25, which defines an antigen on rat helper T lymphocytes, was included in the in vitro cultures. Partial inhibition was achieved with monoclonal antibody OX-3, which recognizes la antigen, whereas other anti-T cell monoclonal reagents were ineffective. These results support the conclusion that W3/25+T cells play an essential role in the induction of this autoimmune response.

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