Macrophage-T cell interactions involving Listeria monocytogenes - role of the H-2 gene complex

A. G. Farr, J. M. Kiely, E. R. Unanue

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53 Scopus citations


This study reports on the in vitro interactions between T cells from Listeria-immunized mice, macrophages from normal mice, and heat-killed Listeria organisms. This interaction was assayed either by determining the amount of a thymocyte mitogen in culture fluids after 24 hr, or by estimating the degree of T cell proliferation after 96 hr. Each assay depended on critical concentration of macrophages, T cells, and heat-killed Listeria, points that were evaluated in a number of experiments. Both assays required specific Listeria-immune T cells. For an effective interaction, the T cells and the macrophages had to share the I-A region of the H-2 gene complex. Macrophages bearing Ia, which represented a minor population of macrophages, were essential for the proliferative response to macrophage-associated Listeria. Also, Ia-bearing macrophages were an important component in the interactions leading to increased secretion of mitogen. The immunogeneic moiety associated with Listeria was short-lived, disappearing 24 hr after uptake of Listeria by macrophages. The interactions were not blocked by anti-Listeria antibodies but were partially sensitive to trypsinization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2395-2404
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1979


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