Antigen-specific syngeneic noncytolytic helper T lymphocyte clones were investigated for their ability to mediate successful adoptive chemoimmunotherapy (ACIT) of mice with established RBL5 tumors. Clone B10, specific for the viral coat m.w. 70,000 glycoprotein, could be rapidly activated in situ after local transfer with intact tumor cells in syngeneic hosts to produce a delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction. For ACIT, mice bearing 5-day-old tumors received cyclophosphamide followed by transfer of resting helper T lymphocyte clones with or without exogenous interleukin 2 (rIL-2). A single injection of clone B10 was effective in ACIT when followed by a short course of exogenous rIL-2. Alternatively, repeated injections of resting clone were also effective without exogenous rIL-2, suggesting that the major role for rIL-2 was prolongation of clone survival in vivo rather than activation of other effector cells. Clone F12, specific for a component of fetal calf serum, was not effective in ACIT either with or without rIL-2, even when administered under conditions known to result in clone activation. Thus, antigen-specific helper T lymphocyte clones are capable of activation and promotion of antitumor responses after adoptive transfer.

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