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Reddehase, Matthias J.; Cox, James H. and Koszinowski, Ulrich H. (1982): Frequency analysis of cytolytic T cell precursors (CTL-P) generated in vivo during lethal rabies infection of mice. I. Distinction of CTL-P with different interleukin 2 sensitivity. In: European Journal of Immunology, Vol. 12: pp. 519-523 [PDF, 574kB]


The aim of this study was to determine the number and state of activity of cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTL) and their precursors (CTL-P) present in vivo during the early stages of viral infection. The local response to lethal infection with rabies virus was used as a model system that is not accessible to analysis by secondary activation in vitro. The local response to alloantigen served as a control. Experimental protocols were established that allow frequency estimates of in vivo antigen-triggered CTL-P. Data allow a distinction between CTL-P activated in vivo by alloantigen and viral antigen with respect to their different capacity to utilize T cell growth factors (inter-leukins). In vivo alloantigen-primed CTL-P generate, in vitro, an active effector progeny in the presence of interleukins of xenogeneic origin, whereas the majority of virus-specific CTL-P, in spite of considerable expansion in vivo, fail to generate CTL in vitro unless antigen is added.

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