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Studies on antigen binding cells involved in cellular immunity to ferredoxin peptides Pearson, Terry W.


Previous studies with conjugates containing the NH2-terminal and COOH-terminal antigenic determinants of oxidized ferredoxin from C. pasteurianum indicated a need for at least two determinants to stimulate DNA synthesis in sensitized lymphocytes. This suggested a mechanism involving cell cooperation, a possibility which has been investigated here by selectively inactivating cells binding one or the other of the determinants. Cells from immunized guinea pigs were tested in vitro for their capacity to bind antigen or to be stimulated by it before and after "antigen suicide" with radioiodinated conjugates containing the NH2-terminal or COOH-terminal determinants of oxidized ferredoxin. A microculture system for assessing antigen induced stimulation of 3H-thymidine uptake by lymphocytes was developed for this work. The data show that: 1) Lymphocytes from unimmunized guinea pigs bind both NH2-terminal and COOH-terminal determinants at a frequency of about 10-4. In immune animals the proportion of antigen binding cells increased about 4-6 fold. The frequency of cells binding the determinants depends markedly on the specific activity of antigens employed. 2) Both T and B lymphocytes bind the antigenic determinants from oxidized ferredoxin. 3) Specific inactivation of cells binding either determinant was achieved by antigen suicide with ¹²⁵I-NH₂-terminal or ¹²⁵I COOH-terminal s-BSA conjugates. Synergy occurs between the NH2-terminal binding cells and COOH-terminal binding cells in the proliferative response of sensitized lymph node cells challenged with oxidized ferredoxin in vitro. Evidence from B cell depletion studies indicates that this is a T cell-T cell interaction.

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