Antigen-specific immune T lymphocytes of male C57BL/6 mice were enriched in vitro on monolayers of antigen-pulsed syngeneic macrophages. The cells were treated in vitro with RadLV and inoculated intrathymically into irradiated female C56BL/6 animals. Thymomas arising in the inoculated recipients were characterized as donor- (male) type according to their karyotype. In vivo and in vitro cell lines were established from the primary lymphomas, two of which (designated ROT/6.1 and ROT/6.2) were capable of providing antigen- (carrier) specific help in normal or preimmunized mice. None of the lymphomas could induce antigen-specific DTH reaction. Five months after their establishment, ROT/6.2 alone retained its carrier specificity. ROT/6.2 consisted mainly of Lyt-1+ cells, whereas the ROT/6.1 population was more heterogeneous and contained Lyt-1+, Lyt-2+, and Lyt-3+ cells. The carrier specificity of the latter may have been lost due to selection against the specific helper cells during prolonged passages.

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