By Henry G. Kunkel (ed.), Frank J. Dixon (ed.)

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Extra info for Advances in Immunology, Vol. 31

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In essence, the thiols have been clearly shown to promote growth of all classes of lymphocytes. The issue of whether these compounds substitute for macrophages is not entirely resolved, in part, because of the difficulties in eliminating all phagocytes from heterogeneous cell populations. Taking the overall evidence from analysis of T cellantigen interactions or the T-B cell responses, particularly to protein antigens, one tends to favor the explanation that the antigen-presenting function of macrophages cannot be replaced by thiols.

The suppressor cells were also found in unfractionated spleen cells by adding a large amount of GAT. ) This last result again depicts the balance between the development of helper and suppressor T cells, depending on the way in which antigen is introduced: suppression may be favored by antigens not presented in macrophages or presented-as in the case of an excess of soluble antigen-perhaps in the context of a “wrong” antigen-presenting cell. Further analysis of the GAT system disclosed that, although no MHC restrictions were found insofar as macrophage presentation, these did take place in situations where the T and B cells came from mice primed in d u o with GAT-bearing macrophages.

Their experiments indicated that addition of %ME resulted in a marked improvement of the response of the accessory cell-depleted spleens and that the 2-ME had to be present for at least 72 hours in cultures. They also found a marked improvement of cell viability by addition of the thiol; while nonadherent cells showed a poor recovery, about 3% of initial input recovered after 4 days, the addition to them of macrophages or 2-ME resulted in about 30%recovery. A logical conclusion was that at least one effect of 2-ME must be through its improvement of cell survival.

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