We measured the trapping of 51chromium-labeled splenic lymphocytes in the lymph nodes and spleens of tumor-inoculated mice at various intervals after inoculation. Both histocompatible and incompatible tumors were studied. Significant trapping occurred in the draining lymph nodes over the entire course of the experiments. The splenic trapping response commenced very early after transplantation and abated after a few days. The magnitude of the lymph node trapping response correlated with the magnitude of antigenic difference between tumor and host. Splenectomy before tumor inoculation had bidirectional effects; it caused a marked augmentation of the trapping response in the early period after tumor inoculation, which declined with time so that late after tumor inoculation, splenectomized animals trapped less well than intact controls. Tumor resection always led to a rapid fall in the trapping response in normal mice. However, tumor resection at the time of the peak trapping response of splenectomized mice produced no change. These results support the notion that lymphocyte trapping is a valid and useful monitor of the immune response to tumors. They also serve to reemphasize the important regulatory role of the spleen plays in the immune response to tumor-associated antigens by demonstrating a new parameter of splenic control; regulation of lymphocyte traffic in response to antigenic stimuli.


This work was supported by United States Public Health Service Training Grant AM 05676, American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant IN-31-J, Research Grants AI 10497 and CA 08593 from the National Institutes of Health and Natïonal Institutes of Health Research Contracts CB 43865 and CB 43994 from the National Cancer Institute.

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