The lacrimal gland inflammatory lesions and renal vasculitic lesions of autoimmune MRL/lpr mice were analyzed for the lymphocyte subsets present. The majority of cells were Thy-1.2+ T cells (mean, 85%) of the L3T4+ helper T phenotype (mean, 64 and 58%, respectively). Lesser numbers of Lyt-2+ suppressor/cytotoxic T cells, B cells, and macrophages were present. The finding that the majority of lymphocytes in both the lacrimal gland inflammatory lesions and renal vasculitis of MRL/lpr mice expressed L3T4 suggests that these cells may be capable of responding to antigen presentation and that an active immunologic response occurs at these sites.

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