Chemical Events in Immune Induction: Evidence for a Covalent Intercellular Reaction Essential in Antigen-Specific T-Cell Activation

  • J. Rhodes
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 179)


Thymus-derived helper (TH) lymphocytes are activated following recognition of foreign antigens in the context of class II major histocompatibility (MHC) gene products expressed by syngeneic antigen presenting cells (APC) (see chapter by Grey in this volume). Current evidence indicates that processed antigen and class II (la) molecules interact to form a stable complex whose orientation effectively selects a particular determinant for recognition. The presentation of antigen requires prolonged physical interaction between APC and TH-Cell, and studies at the macromolecular level have begun to define ancillary molecules that facilitate this process (Weiss and Imboden, 1987; Springer et al, 1987) (see Fig. 1). The present study focuses on events at the chemical level in the inductive interaction between class II positive APC and T-cell. Remarkably, the evidence reviewed here shows that a covalent reaction occurs between ligands on the APC surface and the T-cell surface and that the formation of these reversible covalent bonds is an essential process in antigen-induced T-cell activation.


Schiff Base Accessory Cell Sodium Cyanoborohydride Mixed Leukocyte Reaction Schiff Base Formation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Rhodes
    • 1
  1. 1.Wellcome Research LaboratoriesLangley Court BeckenhamKentUK

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