Peritoneal exudate cells (PEC), obtained after the rejection of EL4 leukemia by BALB/c mice, are much more effective in the specific in vitro destruction of 51Cr-labeled EL4 cells than are spleen, thymus, lymph node, or peripheral blood lymphocytes. The presence of a large number of effector cells at the site of graft rejection is reflected in the potent cytolytic activity seen in vitro. Effector cells temporarily lose cytolytic reactivity when treated with trypsin but regain reactivity with time. This recovery occurs in normal as well as in immune serum. The destructive reactivity of PEC is increased when macrophages are removed. The remaining population of nonadherent PEC is composed primarily of small- to medium-sized lymphocytes. Complex tissue culture media are not needed, but there is a definite requirement for serum. The required serum component is heat stable, nondialyzable, and is not consumed during the reaction. The use of an ascites allograft system made these observations possible and permitted the isolation of those host cells intimately associated with rejection.

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