Naive and memory CD4 T cells from mouse spleen, alone or in a 1:1 mixture, were tested for Con A-induced proliferation in limiting dilution cultures. Dose-response curves for naive cells were linear, but curves for memory cells were hyperbolic, suggesting that positive responses required the activation of several cells of the memory type. Mixtures (1:1) gave zigzag curves, consistent with a previously described quantitative model in which memory cells block naive cell proliferation at low multiplicities and generate their own positive responses at higher multiplicities. Inhibition of naive cell proliferation by memory cells could be mimicked by IL-10 and blocked by anti-IL-10 antibody. IL-2 addition converted the multihit dose curves of memory T cells to single-hit curves, suggesting that poor IL-2 production limits growth in memory cell cultures. Surprisingly, IL-2 addition to cultures of naive cells led to a decrease in proliferation at high cell input doses. This inhibitory effect of IL-2 could be blocked by antibody to IL-10, and may reflect the presence of contaminating memory cells in the naive cell preparations. These models for analysis of interaction between naive and memory T cells in limiting dilution conditions point to a series of reciprocal interactions between IL-10 and IL-2 producing cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas