After our initial report tha leukocyte dialysates containing transfer factor augment the thymidine incorporation of antigen-stimulated lymphocytes, we have adapted the system to microleukocyte cultures. This modification permits both (a) the simultaneous assay of a single dialysate on the cells of multiple individuals, and (b) the assay of multiple dialysates on the cells of a single individual. The data thus secured, demonstrate that dialysates from both skin-test-positive and -negative donors produced similar degrees of augmentation whether the data are expressed as an arithmetic difference or as a ratio. When expressed as an arithmetic difference, the amount of augmentation is increased in proportion to the level of thymidine incorporation of the assay cells when they were stimulated by antigen alone. When expressed as a ratio, however, the degree of augmentation is independent of the response of the assay cells. An analysis of the ability of dialysates to engage previously uncommitted lymphocytes and thus to augment thymidine incorporation, revealed that precommitted cells were required. In these experiments, antigen-reactive cells were deleted from populations of peripheral blood lymphocytes by incubation with purified protein derivative of tuberculin, diphtheria toxoid, or streptokinase-streptodornase in the presence of [3H]thymidine of high specific activity. This deletion depressed or abolished the effect of dialysate on the residual population when it was recultured with the same antigen, but the effect on the response of the remaining lymphocytes to other antigens was unaltered. In this study, leukocyte dialysate appeared to augment nonspecifically the thymidine incorporation of an antigen-specific precommitted clone of lymphocytes. The relationship of these adjuvant effects on peripheral blood lymphocytes in vitro to the specific and nonspecific activities of transfer factor in vivo remains to be elucidated.

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