Adherent peritoneal cells (APC) have often been used as a pure and effective macrophage population. Using partition analysis and small numbers of lymphoid cells activated by mitogens (concanavalin A for T cells (in the presence of TCGF) and LPS + DxS for B cells) we found that APC were accessory cells for T cell activation and growth but were not effective for B cells. Although APC were effective in assisting T-cell mitogenesis, they were not especially efficient. However, when APC were mixed with irradiated WEHI-3 cells (a tissue culture line previously shown to exhibit accessory cell activity in vitro for mitogenic activation T and B cells), the APC and WEHI-3 showed apparent synergy. One reason for failure of APC to assist B-cell mitogenesis was traced to the presence of a suppressor cell population which overcame the accessory cell help given by irradiated WEHI-3 cells to LPS-DxS stimulated murine B cells. It is thus possible to find "helper" effects (synergy of APC and WEHI-3 assisting the mitogenesis of T cells), as well as suppressor effects within the range of cells found in adherent accessory cells.
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