Mycobacteria-reactive Lyt-2+ T cell lines

Eur J Immunol. 1988 Jan;18(1):59-66. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830180110.


The biological activities of mycobacteria-reactive Lyt-2+ T cells were characterized in vitro. T cells from mice immunized with killed Mycobacterium tuberculosis or viable M. bovis were restimulated in vitro and cloned under limiting dilution conditions. Several L3T4-Lyt-2+ T cell lines, some of them KJ16+, were established. These T cell lines were capable of lysing mycobacteria-primed macrophages in an antigen-specific way. The cytolytic activity of some T cell lines was found to be class I restricted, whereas others showed antigen-specific killing in the absence of apparent H-2 restriction. Several T cell lines produced interferon-gamma after appropriate stimulation. Furthermore, these T cell lines could induce tuberculostatic macrophage capacities by apparently two different mechanisms, namely by secretion of lymphokines (most probably interferon-gamma) and by direct cell contact. We conclude that CD8 T cells with antigen-specific cytolytic potential are generated during tuberculosis and that these T cells are involved in the immune response to tubercle bacilli.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Bacterial / immunology*
  • Antigens, Ly / immunology*
  • BCG Vaccine / immunology
  • Cell Line
  • Clone Cells / immunology
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Epitopes / immunology
  • H-2 Antigens / genetics
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Lymphokines / biosynthesis
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / growth & development
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Phenotype
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / classification*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / metabolism


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Antigens, Ly
  • BCG Vaccine
  • Epitopes
  • H-2 Antigens
  • Lymphokines
  • Interferon-gamma