Mitogen induced proliferation of lymphocytes may in theory result directly from the interaction of mitogen with the cells, or indirectly as a result of the mitogen stimulated release of lymphokines. In the case of murine thymic lymphocytes exposed to concanavalin A (Con A) in tissue culture, mitogenesis depends upon a lymphokine. Interaction of the thymic lymphocytes with lectin is necessary, but not sufficient, for mitogenesis. A lymphokine, or costimulator for mitogenesis, is released by normal spleen or thymus cells during the first 16 hr of their exposure to Con A, and in the presence of a phytomitogen it stimulates thymic mitogenesis. Under conditions of low costimulator levels, no mitogenesis follows the interaction of Con A with cells. The response of adult CBA/J mouse thymocytes to phytohemagglutinin (PHA) is very low compared to their response to Con A. When costimulator is added to PHA, the cells respond as well as they do to Con A. Costimulator does not act through Con A binding sites on thymus cells. Its production is dependent on both cells carrying theta surface antigen (T lymphocytes) and adherent cells of the macrophage monocyte series. The adherent population, but not the T cells, may be heavily irradiated without affecting production of costimulator. Costimulator is not a mitogen on its own.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1976|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy