The in vitro proliferative response to autoantigenic mouse thyroglobulin (MTg) of lymph node cells (LNC) from thyroiditis-susceptible (high-responder) CBA/J (H-2k) mice was further characterized. The relatively weak response was enhanced by adding irradiated spleen cells from normal syngeneic mice to cultures of responding LNC. Furthermore, the adjuvant used for immunization was found to influence the magnitude of the response. Results of experiments varying both the adjuvant and the route of immunization (footpad versus subcutaneous) demonstrated that marked proliferative response to MTg in vitro was not necessarily a predictor of the severity of disease. However, the capacity to proliferate in response to MTg correlated with disease susceptibility, as reported previously. The response to MTg was dependent on Thy-1+, Lyt-1+2- cells and was inhibited by monoclonal I-A antibodies. Thus, proliferation is mediated by T cells of the helper/amplifier phenotype recognizing the autoantigen in association with Ia molecules. The determinants on human thyroglobulin (HTg) and MTg stimulating the proliferative responses of LNC from thyroiditis-susceptible and thyroiditis-resistant (low-responder) BALB/c (H-2d) mice were found to differ. Cells from resistant mice proliferated only in response to foreign determinants on HTg and not to shared or mouse-specific epitopes of MTg, whereas susceptible mice had T cells reactive to shared determinants expressed on MTg and HTg as well as to foreign determinants on HTg.
ASJC Scopus subject areas