The parenteral injection of ligand-coupled syngeneic spleen cells has profound effects on immune responsiveness. In this regard, it was examined whether the primed in vitro trinitrophenol (TNP)-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses observed in splenic T-cell populations from mice injected intravenously (iv) with syngeneic TNP-modified spleen cells (TNP-SC) are related to the efferent-acting suppressor-T-cell (Ts) activity observed in splenocytes from iv primed mice. Treatment of mice with cyclophosphamide, adult thymectomy, or monoclonal anti-I-J antiserum prior to the iv injection of TNP-SC was found to eliminate the ability of splenic Ts from these mice to suppress the passive transfer of delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) mediated by trinitrochlorobenzene-immune T cells. In contrast, spleen cells from these pretreated mice showed no impairment in the development of augmented TNP-specific CTL responses upon in vitro restimulation with TNP-SC. Separation of the two activities was also achieved in a kinetic analysis. It is concluded that specific enhancement of CTL responsiveness induced by the iv injection of TNP-SC is related to the expansion of a population prelytic Lyt 2+ CTL effector cells which does not appear to contain efferent-acting Lyt 2+ Ts active in suppressing DTH expression.
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