The phenotype of T cells therapeutically effective in immunotherapy of advanced Friend virus-induced (FBL) leukemia in vivo and cytotoxic to FBL in vitro was determined. Mice bearing disseminated FBL leukemia were successfully treated by a combination of cyclophosphamide and adoptive transfer of syngeneic immune lymphocytes. Therapeutic efficacy was largely dependent on the presence of Lyt-1+2- T cells in the transferred cells, whereas cells cytotoxic to FBL tumor in vitro were derived from the Lyt-1+2+ and Lyt-1-2+ subsets. Thus, the predominate cell required to eradicate tumor in adoptive chemoimmunotherapy was not cytolytic to tumor in vitro. Potentially, the Lyt-1+2- cell may operate in vivo as an amplifier cell rather than by a direct anti-tumor effect. Elimination of the Lyt-1+ population with alpha-Lyt-1 and complement prevented the generation of significant cytotoxic responses during both primary in vitro sensitization to alloantigens and in vitro sensitization of tumour-primed cells. The capacity of Lyt-1+ cell-depleted population to generate cytotoxic responses was partially reconstituted by addition, at the initiation of culture, of interluekin 2, a T cell growth factor derived from Lyt-1+2- cells, which contain the CTL and CTL precursors, were nearly as effective in vitro as unseparated immune cells. If the remaining effector cells (i.e., Lyt-1+2- T cells) function in vivo predominantly as amplifier cells, than the tumour-bearing host must be capable of making a positive contribution to the outcome of therapy.

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