Isolation and characterization of human T cell lines and clones reactive to rabies virus: Antigen specificity and production of interferon-γ

Esteban Celis, R. W. Miller, T. J. Wiktor, B. Dietzschold, H. Koprowski

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41 Scopus citations


By using a preparation of inactivated rabies virus, the blood mononuclear cells from five rabies vaccine recipients were stimulated in vitro in the presence of interleukin 2. T cell lines that displayed significant proliferative responses to whole rabies virus and to preparations of rabies glycoprotein and nucleocapsid were obtained from all the individuals. Other antigens, such as diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, influenza A virus, hepatitis B surface antigen, and serum albumin, failed to induce the proliferation of the T cell lines. One of these rabies-specific T cell lines was found to proliferate in response to rabies antigens only when the antigen-presenting cells expressed homologous HLA-DR antigens. The use of mouse monoclonal antibodies specific for human T cell surface markers revealed that most of the cells of these rabies-reactive lines were of the helper/inducer class of T lymphocytes. Stimulation of the T cell lines with the rabies antigens induced the production of interferon-γ, a lymphokine with potent antiviral activity. Several T cell clones were isolated from two of these cell lines, and most of them appeared to be specific for the antigenic components of the viral nucleocapsid. Two T cell clones specific for the rabies glycoprotein were also isolated from one of these lymphocyte interleukin 2-dependent lines. Further in vitro studies with rabies-specific T cells could help us to understand in more depth the role of regulatory T cells in the human immune response to rabies virus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)692-697
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 1986
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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