Spleen cells from mice immunized with allogeneic tumor cells are incubated on different fibroblast monolayers. The nonadsorbed cells are tested for cytotoxicity against 51Cr-labeled target cells. The cytotoxicity of nonadsorbed cells is much lower after incubation on fibroblasts syngeneic to the immunizing tumor cells than after incubation on fibroblasts syngeneic to the immune cells. This specific decrease of cytotoxic activity depends on the duration and temperature of incubation on monolayers. After incubation the monolayers are trypsinized and pure populations of adsorbed lymphocytes isolated by density gradient fractionation. The cytotoxicity of such trypsin-eluted, gradient-purified lymphocytes is much higher when these lymphocytes are isolated from fibroblasts syngeneic to the immunizing tumor cells than when they are isolated from fibroblasts syngeneic to the immune cells. These experiments demonstrate specific adsorption of immune cells onto fibroblasts carrying the immunizing antigens, and thus prove the existence of specific receptors at the surface of these immune cells.
Spleen cells from mice immunized with two types of allogeneic tumor cells bearing different H-2 antigen alleles are incubated on different fibroblast monolayers. The results of such experiments show a differential specific adsorption pattern, suggesting independent adsorption of two populations of immune cells bearing receptors directed against either one or the other immunizing H-2 antigen. The existence of at least a majority of cells, each of which is homogeneous as to the specificity of its receptors, makes it likely that specific receptors are synthetized by the cells that bear them. The role of specific receptor-bearing cells in the killing process is discussed.