Tuberculin-purified protein derivative (PPD) is a B-lymphocyte mitogen in a variety of experimental animals. Although peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PB MNC) from healthy human tuberculin responders consistently responded to PPD by increased incorporation of [3H]thymidine, cell fractionation studies showed this to be due to T-lymphocyte rather than B-cell blastogenesis. Moreover, utilizing thymidine suicide experiments, the T-lymphocyte response could be categorized as antigenic rather than nonspecific mitogenic reactivity. Kinetic studies revealed a delayed peak of PPD-induced thymidine incorporation in PB MNC from tuberculin skin test-negative as compared to skin test-positive donors. This suggested in vitro primary sensitization of T lymphocytes to PPD, which was corroborated in experiments demonstrating tuberculin reactivity of human umbilical-cord blood lymphocytes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology