Monospecific T cell clones have been proven to be powerful tools for the characterization of T cell recognition in many Ag-specific as well as allo-specific T cell responses. In this report, in order to elucidate the mechanism of T cell recognition of minor stimulating locus Ag (Mlsc) determinants, Mlsc-specific cloned T cells were employed together with primary T cell responses to clarify the role of MHC-gene products in Mlsc-specific T cell recognition. The results indicated that T cells recognize Mlsc determinants in conjunction with I-region MHC gene products. Moreover, certain MHC haplotypes (e.g., H-2a and H-2k) appear to function efficiently in the "presentation" of Mlsc, whereas other haplotypes (e.g., H-2b and H-2q) function poorly if at all in presenting Mlsc. Experiments with the use of stimulators derived from F1 hybrids between the low stimulatory H-2b, Mlsc strain, C3H.SW, and a panel of Mlsb, H-2-different or intra-H-2 recombinant strains strongly suggested that expression of E alpha E beta molecules on stimulators plays a critical role for Mlsc stimulation. The functional importance of the E alpha E beta product in Mlsc recognition was further demonstrated by the ability of anti-E alpha monoclonal antibody to inhibit the response of cloned Mlsc-specific T cells. Inhibition of the same Mlsc-specific response by anti-A beta k antibody suggests that the A beta product may also play a role in T cell responses to Mlsc.

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