Adult BALB/c mice were injected with Moloney sarcoma virus (MSV) after which the animals' lymphocytes were examined for activity against Moloney leukemia virus (MLV) antigen-bearing target cells at 5-day intervals for 30 days. Lymphocytes from these animals and appropriately matched controls were fractionated into B cell-deficient (primarily T cells) and T cell-deficient (primarily B cells) subpopulations. Macrophages were removed using iron powder and magnetism. The unfractionated lymphocytes, T cells, and non-T cells were then tested in microcytotoxicity tests. Antigen-specific activity was found in the unfractionated lymphocytes from animals that had not yet developed palpable tumors and from regressor animals. The T cells were active just before tumor development and just after regression; however, by day 30 after virus infection (8–10 days after regression) the T cell subpopulation was much less active. The non-T cell subpopulation was also active before tumor development and soon after regression. However, this activity continued to rise after regression and was highest at 30 days. At day 15 (peak tumor size) neither subpopulation was active. The activity was demonstrated to be specific for the MLV-determined cell surface antigen by testing on control target cells that were MLV antigen negative and by comparison of the inhibitory effects with lymphocytes immune to a nonpertinent antigen as well as normal lymphocytes. The non-T cells were tested for activity before and after removal of macrophages with iron powder and magnetism. Such cells were significantly more active after removal of the macrophages. These data demonstrate specific T cell and non-T cell activity in microcytotoxicity tests with a tumor-specific system and strongly suggest that the non-T cell activity described herein is a B cell function.

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