Ia antigen-bearing B cell tumor lines can present protein antigen and alloantigen in a major histocompatibility complex-restricted fashion to antigen-reactive T cells

J Exp Med. 1982 Feb 1;155(2):445-59. doi: 10.1084/jem.155.2.445.


Several Ia-positive BALB/c B cell tumor lines were screened for their ability to present alloantigen and protein antigens to alloreactive and antigen-reactive T cells. Of six Ia-positive tumor lines studied, three were found to be effective as antigen presenting cells (APC). Indeed, on a per cell basis, one of the stimulatory lines, A20.3, was substantially more effective than whole spleen cells. The other three lines, although Ia-positive, were nonstimulatory. A20.3 was chosen for further study. This tumor appeared to behave like the conventional APC because (a) the tumor cells presented alloantigen, (b) they presented protein antigen in an MHC-restricted fashion to both primed donor T cells and to long-term continuous T cell lines, (c) alloantigen presentation was blocked by the inclusion of an anti-Ia antibody in the culture system, and (d) A20.3 cells could be effectively pulsed with antigen, although the continuous presence of antigen in the culture system resulted in a superior response. The addition of an exogenous source of interleukin 1 proved necessary to obtain an alloreactive but not an antigen-specific T cell response, although its inclusion did enhance the magnitude of antigen-stimulated proliferation. These tumor cells should prove useful in studying the biochemical events that occur during antigen processing and the requirements for T cell triggering by processed antigen in association with Ia molecules.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Surface / genetics
  • Antigens, Surface / immunology
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • H-2 Antigens / genetics
  • H-2 Antigens / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / genetics*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology
  • Interleukin-1
  • Isoantigens / genetics*
  • Isoantigens / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Lymphocyte Culture Test, Mixed
  • Lymphoma / immunology
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Proteins / pharmacology
  • Rabbits
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Time Factors


  • Antigens, Surface
  • H-2 Antigens
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Interleukin-1
  • Isoantigens
  • Proteins