Mice with congenital severe combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID) failed to mount either a T cell-independent IgM or T cell-dependent IgG anti-vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) Indiana (IND) response. They did not generate cytotoxic T cells against lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) or vaccinia virus, but exhibited NK cell-like activities. When SCID mice were given bone marrow from syngeneic BALB/c (H-2d) nu/nu mice, all immune responses were expressed at control levels. If SCID mice were reconstituted with allogeneic H-2b C57BL/6 nu/nu bone marrow, the following primary anti-viral immune responses were measured. T-independent IgM anti-VSV-IND were normal, but T-dependent IgG anti-VSV-IND responses were absent. Cytotoxic T cell responses to LCMV and vaccinia virus were within normal ranges, were donor cell mediated, and were specific exclusively for the recipient SCID H-2d type. Since antigen presentation by spleen cells was functional in these chimaeras, the presented results indicate that (a) thymic selection of T cell restriction is strict; and (b) the type of T help necessary for B cells depends upon H-2-restricted contact between T and B cells, whereas, such contact-dependent help is not mandatory for the induction of virus-specific cytotoxic T cells.

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