The results of studies on the reticulum cell sarcoma (RCS) tumors of SJL/J mice presented here, indicate that spontaneous tumors, which arise in older mice, also possess the capacity to induce the vigorous proliferative response in syngenetic T lymphocytes that are characteristic of the transplantable RCS lines. Analysis of cell surface antigens revealed the presence of Ia determinats on gradient-purified transplantable RCS tumor cells; however, these cells did not express Thy 1.2, nIg, or, any of the viral proteins that were tested for by specific antisera. Pretreatment of RCS cells with anti-Ia sera and complement-deleted cells that were stimulatory for syngenetic T lymphocytes, and addition of anti-Ia sera directly to cultures blocked the proliferative response at the stimulator (RCS) cell level. Lymph node cells from H-2(8) strains other than SJL/J, including A.SW and B10.S also gave proliferative responses to RCS cells, although lower in magnitude. A requirement on the part of responding cells for identity with RCS cells at the Ir region was indicated by the finding that A.TH but not A.TL lymph node cells responded to RCS. It is concluded that RCS cells stimulate Ir-region identical T cells (without evidence of presensitization) through a modification in the expression of Ia antigens on the surface of the tumor cells.

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