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MHC-unrestricted T-cell cytotoxicity against tumour cells.

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  • Research Article


F9 embryonal carcinoma cells (EC) grow as tumours in their strain of origin, 129/Sv, but can be rejected by mouse strains differing at the H-2 and/or non-H-2 loci. The presence of H-2 class I and/or minor H antigens on F9 and other EC cells is implied by (i) the rejection of EC cells by mice immunized with appropriate H-2 class I transfectants, and (ii) the ability of appropriate EC cells to prime mice for second-set in vivo skin-graft rejection responses to H-Y, and secondary MLC responses to multiple minor H antigens. However, EC cells express no H-2 class I antigens in vitro, and for in vivo rejection by T-cell responses directed either at allogeneic class I molecules or at minor H antigens restricted by self class I molecules, one would need to postulate that EC cells growing in vivo could express sufficient class I antigens for recognition by T cells. In the course of investigating this question, we found evidence for class I expression but also evidence for an additional antigen(s), shared by EC and tumour cells and recognized in a non-MHC-restricted manner.

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