Cytotoxic T lymphocytes were generated in vitro against H-2 compatible or syngeneic tumor cells. In vitro cytotoxic activity was inhibited by specific anti-H2 sera, suggesting that H-2 antigens are involved in cell lysis. Two observations directly demonstrated the participation of the H-2 antigens on the tumor cells in their lysis by H-2-compatible T cells. First, coating of the H-2 antigens on the target tumor cell reduced the number of cells lysed on subsequent exposure to cytotoxic T cells. Second, when cytotoxic T cells were activated against an H-2 compatible tumor and assayed against an H-2-incompatible tumor, anti-H-2 serum that could bind to the target cell, but not to the cytotoxic lymphocyte, inhibited lysis. H-2 antigens were also shown to be present on the cytotoxic lymphocytes. Specific antisera reacting with these H-2 antigens, but not those of the target cell, failed to inhibit lysis when small numbers of effector cells were assayed against H-2-incompatible target cells or when effector cells of F1-hybrid origin and bearing two H-2 haplotypes were assayed against a tumor cell of one of the parental strains. These findings suggest that it is the H-2 antigens on the tumor cell and not those on the cytotoxic lymphocytes that are important in cell-mediated lysis of H-2-compatible tumor cells.

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