Induction of tumor-specific immunity in vitro was accomplished by cocultivation of cortisone-resistant murine thymocytes or spleen cells with irradiated syngeneic plasma cell tumors (PCT). The cytotoxic activity generated could be detected in a short-term 51Cr-release assay. Optimal cytotoxic activity against PCT-associated transplantation antigens (TATA) was generated after 7 days in culture. Unlike cytotoxic responses to tumor allografts in which the cytotoxic activity was directed against allogeneic transplantation antigens, the cytotoxic activity obtained in the syngeneic tumor system was specific to the immunizing syngeneic PCT.
Similar parameters of induction of cytotoxic responses in in vitro tumor allograft responses and in the syngeneic tumor system suggested that both reactions are cell-mediated cytotoxic immune responses. With regard to the magnitude of cytotoxic responses obtained, allogeneic transplantation antigens induced about a 30-fold higher cytotoxic immune response than plasma cell TATA. The results are consistent with the concept that in vitro tumor allograft responses and in vitro responses against TATA of PCT are similar in quality, but differ in the magnitude of the cytotoxic response provoked.