T cell clones of donor origin that specifically react with recipient cells were obtained from a SCID patient successfully reconstituted by allogeneic fetal liver and thymus transplantation performed 10 yr ago. The majority of these clones displayed both cytotoxic and proliferative responses towards PBL and an EBV-transformed B cell line derived from the patient. In addition, these T cell clones had proliferative and cytotoxic responses towards the parental PBL, EBV cell lines, and PHA blasts. Blocking studies with anti-class I and anti-class II HLA mAbs indicated that the activity of the CD4+ T cell clones was specifically directed against class II HLA antigens of the recipient. On the other hand, the cytotoxic and proliferative responses of the CD8+ T cell clones were specific for class I HLA antigens which are ubiquitously expressed on the recipient cells. Thus, the establishment of transplantation tolerance observed in this stable human chimera is not due to the elimination of host-reactive T cells from the repertoire and suggests the presence of a peripheral autoregulatory suppressor mechanism.

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