Cytotoxic cells were generated by immunizing one strain of mouse with cells from an allogeneic strain which carries the same H-2 region. The effector cells assayed in a 4 h 51Cr release assay were shown to be T cells and indistinguishable, except in specificity, from cytotoxic T cells directed at H-2 alloantigens. Although the genetic differences between responder and stimulator cells responsible for the immunization did not code in H-2, the H-2 complex did restrict susceptibility of target cells. For example, BALB.B cytotoxic cells (H-2b) immunized against and capable of lysing C57BL/6 cells (H-2b) would not lyse B6.C/H-2d target cells. C57BL/6 and B6.C/H-2d are congenic and differ in the H-2 region. Two hypotheses are considered to explain the H-2 restriction of susceptibility to cytotoxic T cells generated by an H-2 identical alloimmunization. (a) The dual (self) recognition hypothesis states that the cytotoxic cell has two recognition units, one for H-2-coded structures and another clonally restricted receptor for the minor alloantigen. (b) The interaction antigen hypothesis states that all the surface alloantigenic determinants recognized by cytotoxic T cells are the result of interaction between H-2- and non-H-2-coded gene products. Two lines of evidence, one with F1 effector cells and the other a cold target competition experiment, are presented which argue strongly in favor of the interaction antigen hypothesis. The regions of H-2 required to be histocompatible were mapped to the D region and to the left of IC, probably the K region. These results, and recent work on the response to virus-infected and TNP-modified syngeneic cells, suggest that cytotoxic cells are restricted in specificity to preferentially recognizing alterations in structures that are coded in the major histocompatibility complex.

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