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Synthetic phospholipid vesicles containing a purified viral antigen and cell membrane proteins stimulate the development of cytotoxic T lymphocytes

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Abstract

Synthetic phospholipid vesicles (liposomes) containing the purified glycoprotein (G) of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and solubilized membrane proteins from cells of the appropriate H-2 haplotype elicited H-2-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) that lysed VSV-infected target cells. The CTL were elicited by intact liposomes, not by released components. Thus, when spleen cells from VSV-primed H-2d X H- 2b hybrid mice were stimulated with liposomes having G protein + membrane proteins from cells with one of the parental H-2 haplotypes, the resulting CTL lysed only VSV-infected target cells with that parent's H-2 type. This result argues against the view that T cells in general recognize only processed antigenic fragments on macrophages. Moreover, liposomes were only effective when G protein and cell membrane proteins were included in the same vesicles. This result suggests that for effective interaction with CTL precursors the antigen (G protein) and products of the H-2 complex must be closer to each other than 600-1,000 angstrom, the diameter of the lipid vesicles used in this study.

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