The T1 subpopulation of peripheral T cells was defined in mice by its short half life, insensitivity to anti-thymocyte sera (ATS) in vivo, and slow kinetics of response to antigen. The T2 subpopulation was defined by its long life time, elimination by ATS in vivo, and rapid response to antigen. Mice containing only T1-type T cells were constructed by adult thymectomy (ATx) followed immediately by the elimination of T2 cells by ATS treatment. Immunization of these mice with SRBC led to the production of memory helper cells in the T2 subpopulation. This process depended on the presence of T1 cells and for the most part required SRBC immunization, although a few SRBC-specific T2 cells reappeared in the mice in the absence of antigen. We conclude that T1 cells can give rise to T2 cells in an antigen-driven step and that the two populations correspond to virgin and memory T cells, respectively.

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This work was supported by United States Public Health Service Grants AI-11558 and CA-11198 and American Cancer Society Research Grant IM-49.

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