Within 2–4 h of interaction of parental spleen cells from naive mice or of their supernates with alloantigen-bearing F1hybrid spleen cells, a factor called soluble early product of immune recognition (SEPIR) is secreted. SEPIR could be revealed by its ability to enhance mixed leukocyte cultures (MLC) set up in suboptimal conditions. The factor appears to be generated by parental strain T but not B lymphocytes, is active at low concentration and acts in a pulse-like fashion. Its formation is triggered by unstimulated T cells reacting with H-2 antigens; no cytokine activity of IL 1, IL 2 or interferon character could be detected. It is suggested that the formation of SEPIR within the first few hours of MLC interaction is critically related to the further development of alloantigen-driven T cell proliferation. SEPIR might thus be the earliest discernible product of alloimmune recognition.

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