Mice inoculated with ultraviolet light-inactivated Sendai virus mount a cell- mediated immune response to the virus. Cytotoxic T cells specific for Sendai virus can be obtained by in vitro secondary stimulation of primed spleen cells with syngeneic stimulator cells coated with UV-inactivated Sendai virus. Neither in vivo nor in vitro stimulation alone is sufficient to generate specific cytotoxic T cells. Sharing of the H-2 haplotype between cytotoxic T cells and target cells is required for the Sendai virus-specific lysis to occur.
The fusion (F) glycoprotein of Sendai virus has been implicated in target antigen formation (20). Ethanol treatment of Sendai virus causes complete inactivation of the cell-fusion and hemolytic activities of the envelope, but does not affect the antigenicity of the F glycoprotein; furthermore, hemagglutinin and neuraminidase activities of the envelope HANA glycoprotein are also left intact after ethanol treatment. Target cells can be prepared by coating them with various numbers of UV-inactivated Sendai virus that have been treated with ethanol or, as a control, phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). The amount of virus adsorbed to target cells during the cytotoxicity reaction time using either ethanol-treated or untreated (PBS "treated") virions is essentially identical, but target cells coated with ethanol-treated Sendai virus fail to serve as targets for cytotoxic T cells. These results indicate that fusion activity of the Sendai virus envelope is essential to the formation of the target antigen and that virus adsorption to cell surfaces without fusion of the envelope with cell membranes is not sufficient to allow killing by virus-specific cytotoxic T cells.