The establishment of an intimate connection between autoimmunity and neoplasia would require the demonstration of an experimentally induced, tumor-dependent autoimmune process. For this reason, we have studied cellular immune reactions of mice bearing a transplantable leukemia (L1210). Spleen cells from hybrid BDF1 mice bearing the L1210 tumor (BDFt) reacted vigorously in mixed lymphocyte culture with mitomycin-treated, normal spleen cells from mice of the parental strain from which the L1210 tumor was derived (DBA/2). Spleen cells from nontumor-bearing BDF1 mice reacted only weakly with these parental cells. The BDFt cells likewise did not respond when cultured with mitomycin-treated spleen cells from the other parental strain (C57B1/6). The vigorous mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) by BDFt cells against normal parental cells of the same strain as the tumor was not due to a double exposure of the reacting cells to histocompatibility antigens shared by tumor cells and normal parental cells. The response of cells from tumor-bearing F1 mice against normal parental cells seen in these experiments suggests the possibility of the induction of an autoimmune-like process against host lymphocytes by spleen cells from leukemic mice. Theoretically such a phenomenon would considerably reduce an animal's ability to mount an immune attack against malignant cells.

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