Stimulation of antigen-specific T cell hybridomas with the appropriate antigen/MHC combination, at concentrations that resulted in the secretion of the lymphokine interleukin 2, resulted in a dose-dependent decrease in both [3H]thymidine incorporation and cell growth. Flow cytometric studies demonstrated that stimulation with antigen resulted in a cell cycle block that was most evident at the G1/S border, and mixing studies revealed that bystander T cells of different antigen specificities were not affected. For at least the large majority of T cells, the G1/S cell cycle block appeared to be irreversible after 24 h of exposure to antigen. This cell cycle block may be useful as a rapid and quantitative measure of T cell hybridoma activation, as a means of selecting T cell hybridomas that have functional alterations in the reception of stimulatory signals, and may serve as a model of the induction of tolerance in immature T cells.

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