Induction of maximal CTL activity was achieved within 12 hr of exposure to Con A in vitro in various mouse lymphoid cell populations. These included spleen cells from normal unsensitized mice, spleen cells from mice previously immunized with alloantigen, and mouse spleen cells exposed to alloantigen in long-term mixed leukocyte culture (LTMLC). Although induction of maximal incorporation of tritiated thymidine was accomplished within this same period in the cells obtained from LTMLC, a much longer period of Con A exposure (>24 hr) was required for freshly prepared spleen cells from normal or previously immunized mice. These findings indicate that the increased tritiated thymidine uptake induced in freshly prepared spleen cells on continued exposure to Con A beyond 12 hr is not associated with the development of cytolytic activity, and that it probably represents stimulation of subpopulations no longer present in the LTMLC population where positive selection for cells responsive to cellular alloantigens has taken place.
This work was supported by research grants of the Leukemia Research Foundation and United States Public Health Service Grant AI-4197.