Splenic lymphocytes from four C57BL/10 congenic mouse strains were sensitized in vitro to N(-3-nitro-4-hydroxy-5-iodophenylacetyl)-beta-alanylglycylglycyl-(N) modified autologous lymphocytes. The effector cells generated after 5 days of culture were assayed on a series of either N-modified phytohemagglutinin-stimulated spleen cells or N-modified tumor cells. The results indicated in all cases that both N modification of the targets and H-2 homology between the modified stimulating and target cells are required for lysis to occur. In each case the effector cells were found to lyse N-modified target cells only when there was homology at either or both ends of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) between the stimulator and target cells. B10.BR lysed targets sharing alleles at K (or K plus I-A) and/or at D. B10.A effector cell specificity was mapped to K (or K plus I-A) and/or the D half of the MHC (D or D plus I-C and/or S). The two regions of specificity determined for B10.D2 effector cells were D (or D plus S plus I-C) and a region not including D of the MHC. C57BL/10 effector cells lysed N-modified targets only if there was target cell H-2 homology at K, I-A, and I-B or at the D serological region. As in the trinitrophenyl (TNP) system (6) B10.BR and B10.A effector cells lysed targets sharing K end H-2 serological regions greater than target cells sharing D-end serological regions. The C57BL/10 effector cells were shown to react to the K end greater than the D end, which differed from the equal reactivity seen in the TNP system for this strain. The data are consistent with the hypothesis that the antigen recognized by the effector cell includes an altered H-2 serological cell surface product. That the reaction is not "hapten specific" and the H-2 homology is required only for effector:target cell interaction was excluded by the use of two F1 combinations in which lysis of only N-modified target cells sharing the H-2 haplotype with the stimulating parental strain was obtained. Finally, it was demonstrated that N and TNP modification create distinct new antigenic determinants, since an effector cell sensitized to one modifying agent will lyse only H-2 matched target modified with that same modifying agent.

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