We examined stimuli which are required for the induction of in vitro proliferation of follicular lymphoma cells, a low grade non-Hodgkin's B cell lymphoma characterized by a specific chromosomal translocation, t(14;18)(q32;q21), and by in vivo growth of the lymphoma cells in germinal center-like follicles infiltrated with CD4+ T cells. The purified follicular lymphoma cells, which are morphologically uniform, small, and dense, did not respond to stimulation with soluble lymphokines in the absence of T cells. Vigorous in vitro proliferation of follicular lymphoma cells was induced, however, when the follicular lymphoma cells were cultured with a CD4+ T cell clone which recognized alloantigens expressed by the lymphoma cells. This response required B-T cell contact, and was inhibited by anti-class II but not by anti-class I MHC mAb, indicating that these neoplastic B cells behaved as normal B cells and responded to normal activation and differentiation signals from T cells. After the cognate B lymphoma-T cell interaction occurred in culture, addition of IL-2 or IL-4 enhanced the proliferation of the tumor cells. These results, with a monoclonal and homogeneous population of B cells, affirm the idea that cognate interaction between B cells and Th cells is required for the effective activation of resting B cells. Moreover, these results suggest that a critical host-tumor interaction occurs in vivo, and that the polyclonal CD4+ T cells that infiltrate follicular lymphomas play a role in sustaining rather than inhibiting tumor growth in vivo. If so, therapies directed not only against the neoplastic cell but also against specific T cells and their cognate interactions with tumor cells may have a rationale.
View details for Web of Science ID A1990CX20100015
View details for PubMedID 1969451