Isoantiserum (IS) inhibition of lymphocyte-mediated cytotoxicity (LMC) was studied using an in vitro 51Cr release assay system. In the early phase of incubation, LMC was competitively inhibited by IS. However, as the incubation continued, LMC irreversibly overcame IS inhibition (the "escape" phenomenon). Addition of fresh antiserum did not alter the course of the escape. Low-temperature incubation of isoantibody-coated target cells delayed the onset of the escape.

We have excluded the possibility that the escape phenomenon is induced by complement or by LMC mediated by antigen-antibody complex. It is hypothesized that antibody directed toward an actively metabolizing target cell induces an alteration in the cell membrane that alters further interaction with the antibody. However, sensitivity to lymphocyte cytotoxicity is maintained.

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