An in vitro spleen fragment culture system has been developed for the production and analysis of xenogeneic antibody responses to cell surface antigens. Depending on the methods of immunization and in vitro stimulation employed, mouse spleen fragments can produce antibody of both IgG and IgM classes directed against human cell surface antigens for more than 30 days in culture.

A saturation binding analysis of the antibody products indicates that their range of specificities was more restricted than that of serum antibody. Approximately 5% of the in vitro antibody products raised against a homogeneous population of human leukemia cells could distinguish between the antigens present on the leukemia cells and those present on normal human lymphocytes. Methods previously employed to influence the range of serum antibodies expressed against complex immunogens, such as suppression of certain responses by passive administration of antibody at the time of immunization, were tested in the in vitro spleen culture system and resulted in successful modulation of the antibody response patterns observed.

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This work was supported by the American Cancer Society Grants 782 and IM 114 and by the Antalek Fund.

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