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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Spontaneous in vitro evolution of lytic specificity of cytotoxic T lymphocyte clones isolated from murine intestinal epithelium.

Three long-term clonally derived cytotoxic lines have been established from isolates of murine intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL). All three lines were selected for with antigen and represent two allospecific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) clones and a major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-restricted clone specific for a murine minor histocompatibility antigen. On long-term in vitro culture, IEL clones gradually lost antigen-specific lytic activity and simultaneously acquired the capacity to lyse natural killer (NK)-sensitive target cells which, in some cases, required high-level lymphokine activation. Of interest was the finding that, despite changes in lytic specificity, IEL clones remained strictly antigen-dependent for proliferation. A murine CTL clone of splenic origin, which was propagated under culture conditions identical to those used for IEL, did not exhibit changes in lytic specificity, suggesting that acquired changes in IEL function cannot be attributed solely to the influence of in vitro culture. Phenotypic analyses of IEL clones with altered lytic specificity revealed that all lines remained Thy-1+, Lyt-2+, L3T4-, with or without lytic activation by lymphokines. The expression of CT-1, a murine CTL activation antigen, and asialo GM1, a murine NK cell marker, were variable on IEL clones, and their presence did not correlate with the changes in lytic behavior. Collectively, these findings provide evidence, at the clonal level, that at least some NK activity present in isolates of murine IEL may originate from antigen-specific CTL. The data also indicate that, on binding antigen, different signals are conveyed to T cells, resulting in proliferation or target cell lysis.[1]


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