Myelin basic protein (BP)-specific T-cell lines were selected from SJL/J mice using techniques to select similar lines from Lewis rats. SJL/J BP-specific T-cell lines were composed of T cells with the helper/inducer phenotype (Lyt 1.2+, 2.2- and L3T4+) and proliferated in response to both the 1-37 and the 89-169 fragments of guinea pig BP. BP-specific T-cell lines transferred delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) responses to BP that persisted for over 60 days. Most recipient animals ( 32 41) developed acute experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), and most survivors ( 19 24) developed chronic relapsing EAE. Spinal cords of animals during both the acute and the chronic phases of illness contained plaques of demyelination and infiltrates of lymphocytes and macrophages. These findings differed from those of Lewis rat BP-specific lines which respond to a different region of BP, transfer DTH responses that last less than 12 days, and induce acute EAE in which demyelination does not occur.
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