Heterologous anti-human lymphotoxin (LT) antisera have been employed to investigate the role of LT in mitogen-(Con-A, PHA) induced destruction of murine L-929 cells by human lymphocytes in vitro. These various antisera will effectively neutralize human LT molecules associated with the stable (70 to 90,000 dalton) α-LT class of cytotoxin (anti-α-LT), the more unstable (35 to 50,000 dalton) β-LT class of cytotoxins (anti-β-LT), and antisera which will neutralize all classes of these cytotoxins in vitro, anti-whole supernatant (anti-W.S.). These anti-LT sera will greatly inhibit lysis of L-929 cells by using mitogen-activated human effector lymphocytes in vitro. This blocking was shown to be mediated by whole serum, purified IgG, or IgG-Fab fragments, which had been extensively absorbed with bovine serum, human serum, mitogens, and normal human lymphocytes. Inhibition of lysis was not apparently due to interference with either lymphocyte-target cell contact or lymphocyte activation step(s). The blocking effects of these sera were also shown to occur during the lymphocyte-independent phase of the lytic reaction. These data support the concept that the lymphocyte deposits an LT-like effector molecule on the target-L cell surface during the lymphocyte-dependent phase, which mediates cell lysis at a later time during the lymphocyte-independent phase.

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This work was supported by Grant AI-09460 from the Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Grant IM-32 from the American Cancer Society, and Grant 1883 from the Rheumatic Diseases Research Foundation.

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