Abstract

Tetanus-toxoid specific helper-inducer T-cell clones, which had been infected and transformed by human T-cell leukemia-lymphoma virus (HTLV-I), were obtained from an antigen-specific human T cell line by using a limiting dilution technique in the presence of the virus. These HTLV-I-infected T-cell clones proliferated specifically in response to soluble tetanus toxoid but, unlike normal T cells, they could do so in the absence of accessory cells. The HTLV-I-infected T-cell clones did not present the antigen to autologous antigen-specific T cells that were not infected with HTLV-I. The capacity of helper-inducer T cells to retain antigen-specific reactivity after infection by HTLV-I, while losing the normal T-cell requirement for accessory cells, has clinical and theoretical implications.

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