In vitro expanded T cell lines were used to determine whether antigen-specific cytolytic T lymphocytes are generated after infection with the intracellular bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes. Spleen cells from infected mice were cultured in the presence of syngeneic accessory cells, listerial antigen, and interleukin 2 containing supernatants. Cell lines were greater than 98% Thy-1+, L3T4-, Lyt-2+. Bone-marrow macrophages were used as target cells in two in vitro cytolytic assay systems. The Lyt-2+ T cells killed bone marrow macrophages only when infected with L. monocytogenes as assessed in a 4-hr 51Cr release assay and in an 18-hr neutral red uptake assay. Cytolysis was blocked by anti-LFA-1 and anti-Lyt-2 monoclonal antibodies. These cytolytic T cells produced interferon-gamma after co-stimulation with antigen, accessory cells, and recombinant interleukin 2. Bone marrow macrophages infected with Mycobacterium bovis were not killed by T cells from L. monocytogenes-infected mice but by T cell lines from M. bovis-infected mice, indicating that cytolysis was antigen specific. L. monocytogenes-infected target cells of different haplotype were lysed by the Lyt-2+ T cells. By using a low cell density split culture system, antigen-specific, H-2-restricted cytolytic T cells could be identified. These findings demonstrate that during infection with intracellular bacteria, Lyt-2+ T cells with cytolytic activity are generated that may be involved in antibacterial protection.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.