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Influence of T-lymphocyte deprivation on the antileukemic effect of bacillus calmette-guérin in vivo


The effect in AKR mice of T-lymphocyte deprivation in vivo, obtained by adult thymectomy plus/minus whole-body irradiation and bone-marrow reconstitution, was studied in the growth of grafted leukemia cells obtained from spontaneous AKR leukemia. Both thymectomized mice and mice subjected to thymectomy, whole-body irradiation, and bone-marrow reconstitution (B) had a lower take-frequency of graft leukemia than conventional mice. Growth of graft leukemia was inhibited by BCG treatment both in thymectomized mice and in B mice. Concomitant with the increased inhibition of leukemia growth, an increased incidence of wasting-like disease was observed. In vitro cytotoxicity studies revealed that spleen lymphoid cells from nonleukemic mice were cytotoxic to AKR leukemia cells, to nonmalignant AKR fibroblasts, and to other nonmalignant cells with H-2k haplotype. The activity of this self-directed cytotoxicity was most marked in AKR mice with wasting-like disease. The presence of autocytotoxic cells was frequently associated with a positive direct Coombs' test. Immunofluorescence studies showed, further, that the cytotoxic activity was independent of retrovirus antigens as tested by indirect immunofluorescence with anti-MuLV antibodies. Adult thymectomy of AKR mice confers an increased antitumoral immune potential, but also an increased risk of development of serious autoimmune disease.

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Correspondence to L. Olsson.

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Olsson, L., Ebbesen, P. & Hesse, J. Influence of T-lymphocyte deprivation on the antileukemic effect of bacillus calmette-guérin in vivo. Cancer Immunol Immunother 8, 231–240 (1980).

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  • Leukemia
  • Conventional Mouse
  • Antileukemic Effect
  • Nonmalignant Cell
  • Immune Potential