This study establishes assay systems for helper T cell activities assisting cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) and antibody responses to tumor-associated antigens (TAA) and demonstrates the existence of TAA that induce preferentially anti-TAA CTL helper and B cell helper T cell activities in two syngeneic tumor models. C3H/HeN mice were immunized to the syngeneic X5563 plasmacytoma or MH134 hepatoma. Spleen cells from these mice were tested for anti-TAA helper T cell activity capable of augmenting anti-trinitrophenyl(TNP) CTL and anti-TNP antibody responses from anti-TNP CTL and B cell precursors (responding cells) by stimulation with TNP-modified X5563 or MH134 tumor cells. The results demonstrate that cultures of responding cells plus 85OR X-irradiated tumor-immunized spleen cells (helper cells) failed to enhance anti-TNP CTL or antibody responses when in vitro stimulation was provided by either unmodified tumor cells or TNP-modified syngeneic spleen cells (TNP-self). In contrast, these cultures resulted in appreciable augmentation of anti-TNP CTL or antibody response when stimulated by TNP-modified tumor cells. Such anti-TAA helper activities were revealed to be Lyt-1+2- T cell mediated and TAA specific. Most interestingly, immunization with X5563 tumor cells resulted in anti-TAA helper T cell activity involved in CTL, but not in antibody responses. Conversely, TAA of MH134 tumor cells induced selective generation of anti-TAA helper T cell activity responsible for antibody response. These results indicate that there exists the qualitative TAA-heterogeneity as evidenced by the preferential induction of anti-TAA CTL- and B cell-helper T cell activities. The results are discussed in the light of cellular mechanisms underlying the preferential anti-TAA immune responses, and the interrelationship between various types of cell functions including CTL- and B cell-help.

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