T Helpers may be Sensitized by Antigen-Specifically Altered Structures, which are Coded by the I Region of the H-2 Gene Complex

  • R. M. Zinkernagel


We have shown that virus immune cytotoxic cells are specific for virus-altered structures (1–4). These structures are coded for in the H-2K or the H-2D. Accordingly, virus immune cytotoxic CBA/H (H-2k) T cells sensitized in vivo will react in vitro only with ‘altere’ H-2k, not with ‘altere’ H-2d. The alteration can be envisaged as biochemical modifications of the protein or carbohydrate part of the private specificity of major transplantation antigens or of structures coded very closely to them. Alternatively, it could be formation of a complex of these structures and viral antigens (1–4). Structures coded for in the I region of the H-2 complex could not be shown to be relevant at the effector level (2, 3). However, this H-2 region may be involved in the initial sensitization and/or proliferation step(s). The requirement for compatibility at H-2K or H-2D of in vitro T cell-mediated cytotoxicity against virus infected target cells is apparently not due to an inherent incapacity of these T cells to interact with allogeneic infected target cells.


51Cr Release Biochemical Modification Altered Structure Private Specificity Infected Target Cell 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. Zinkernagel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyJohn Curtin School of Medical ResearchCanberraAustralia

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