Immunocytological properties of the splenic T cell (Tv) which develop into virus plaque-forming cells in response to the antigenic challenge in vitro were investigated in relation to the properties of helper T cells and suppressor T cells in antibody response. Tv was observed in spleen around 1 wk after the intravenous injection of mice with 10(7) sheep erythrocytes. This contrasted with the finding that both helper T cells and suppressor T cells developed as early as 3 days after the immunization. Tv was proliferative in response to the antigenic stimulation, whereas helper T-cell activity could be expressed without cell division. Development of Tv to virus plaque-forming cells was much more dependent on macrophages than the generation of helper activity. Tv was found in nylon wool adherent fraction, whereas helper T cell was found in both nylon adherent and nonadherent fractions. Tv belongs to the short-lived and nonrecirculating T-cell population (T1), whereas the major part of helper T cells belongs to the long-lived and recirculating T-cell population (T2). These results strongly suggest that vesicular stomatitis virus infect and replicate in the different subset(s) of T cell(s) to which the major part of helper T cells belong.

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