The immunity of BALB.B mice to syngeneic Gross murine leukemia virus (MuLV)-induced B.GV cells was studied at various times after infection by Trypanosoma cruzi. BALB.B mice chronically infected by the parasite do not develop an effective immune response against B.GV tumor cells, and B.GV tumor growth in vivo is consequently facilitated. The tumor-specific cytolytic T lymphocyte (CTL) compartment in these mice was studied in vitro because CTL are known to participate actively in syngeneic tumor rejection. These analyses showed that: a) CTL differentiation is suppressed in mice with chronic T. cruzi infections; b) suppression is at the level of CTL precursor cell activation; c) suppression is not antigen-specific; and d) suppression is mediated by macrophages and Lyt-2+ T lymphocytes.

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