Immune response to a syngeneic mammary adenocarcinoma. III. Development of memory and suppressor functions modulating cellular cytotoxicity

O. Kuperman, G. W. Fortner, Z. J. Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Measurement of the development of cytolytic activity by mammary tumor primed or unprimed syngeneic spleen cells on in vitro monolayers of the 13762 rat mammary tumor operationally defined several subpopulations of lymphoid cells involved in the cytotoxic response. In vitro sensitization of cells from Fischer 344 animals injected 2 to 10 days earlier with 2x107 viable tumor cells always resulted in a higher and earlier lytic response than cells from non inoculated animals. Adoptive transfer of the same in vivo primed cells for 5 days in irradiated syngeneic hosts removed any cytotoxic cells originally present but subsequent in vitro sensitization still resulted in a higher and earlier cytolytic response. Such cells were defined as 'memory' cells for cytotoxicity. Memory cells were radiosensitive and specific for the immunizing target cell. In contrast to cells from animals inoculated for 3 to 10 days, cells obtained 11 and 12 days after immunization had a lower response than unprimed cells on in vitro sensitization. The anamnestic response could be restored either by culturing 12 day primed cells in vitro for 2 days without antigen or by adoptive transfer for 5 days into irradiated syngeneic rats. This suggests that another population of cells is present in spleen and suppresses the conversion of memory to cytotoxic cells. A more direct measurement of suppressor cell function was obtained by coincubating tumor primed and unprimed cells on monolayers during in vitro sensitization. Cells from animals bearing tumors for 5 to 10 days always caused an increase in the response of the mixed lymphocyte groups, whereas 11 to 13 day tumor primed cells always caused a marked decrease in the cytolytic response. These results suggest the following interpretation of the kinetics of cell mediated cytotoxicity to syngeneic tumor inoculation. Cytotoxic cells appear about 6 days after immunization, reach peak levels 2 days later, and then decrease rapidly. Memory cells are generated at a faster rate, reach peak levels before maximum cytolytic activity, but are then functionally inhibited from converting into differentiated cytotoxic cells by a new population of suppressor cells which reach peak activity about 12 days after immunization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1282-1287
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Dec 1975
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Immune response to a syngeneic mammary adenocarcinoma. III. Development of memory and suppressor functions modulating cellular cytotoxicity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this