The ability of spleen cells from young (3 month) and old (1 yr) NZB mice to induce GVH reactions in newborn C57BL/6N mice was compared quantitatively using the Simonsen spleen assay. Young NZB cells were five times more reactive than cells from older mice. The minimum number of cells producing detectable reactions was 2 x 106 for the young and 10 x 106 for the old. Young and old cells combined and injected together produced GVH reactions quantitatively similar to those obtained with inocula composed of young cells alone. Mixtures of two cell populations producing no detectable reactions when injected separately into different recipients (1 x 106 young cells and 4 x 106 old cells) produced reactions approximately equal to those obtained with 5 x 106 young cells. As few as 0.25 x 106 young cells were sufficient to effect a reaction when combined with 4.75 x 106 old unreactive cells. Viability of both cell populations was essential for GVH reactivity. This evidence of synergy in GVH reactions indicates that old NZB spleen cells can be rendered immunologically more reactive in the presence of a normally reactive population.

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