The HFL/b tumor cell line, induced by Friend erythroleukemia virus in BALB.B mice, was used to study the relation between virus production or nonproduction and the antigens recognized by Friend virus-specific cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTL). Analysis of clones and subclones of these tumor cells revealed a high degree of heterogeneity with respect to the production and release into culture fluids of infectious Friend virus in vitro, ranging from high levels to low or undetectable levels of virus production. Although no major differences could be detected among the antibody-defined serotypes of the various clones, the susceptibility of cells of individual HFL/b clones to attack by Friend virus-specific CTL varied widely, and those clones which produced large amounts of infectious virus provided the most sensitive target cells. It was also apparent that production of infectious Friend virus was inhibitory to CTL generation in syngeneic mixed leukocyte-tumor cell cultures. Friend erythroleukemia virus-producing cells thus appeared to interact in a complex manner with the host CTL response by modulating their production of infectious Friend virus.

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