Purified hepatocytes (LH), Kupffer cells (LKu), and intrahepatic biliary duct cells (LD) were isolated from canine livers, as well as tubular cells from canine kidneys, by enzymatic digestion, gradient centrifugation, and tissue culture techniques. Incubation of LH, LKu, and LD for 48 hr in a two-compartment diffusion chamber opposite two-way mixed lymphocyte cultures, or with canine gamma interferon purified and standardized in our laboratory, resulted in a significant increase to class II expression. This was detected in the cell analyzer with directly fluoresceinated B1F6, a monoclonal antibody (mab) generated in our laboratory vs. a canine class II monomorphic epitope. An amplification of the allogeneic mixed lymphocyte liver cell cultures (MLLC) of at least 2-fold was observed by preinduction of canine class II expression with IFN-γ on LKu and LD cells, but an autologous reaction could not be elicited. However, an autologous as well as allogeneic lymphoproliferation against kidney tubular cells (MLKC) could be easily observed without IFN-γ and amplified with IFN-γ to stimulation indices of at least 3 times that of noninduced cultures. Dependence of the allogeneic MLLC and allogeneic and autologous MLKC on class II gene expression was also evidenced by blocking of 3H-thymidine uptake seen by incubation with 5 μg of B1F6. Another mab, I1F6, generated against tubular cells and inhibiting the autologous and allogeneic MLKC, had no blocking effect on eration with any of the liver cell preparations. No such tissue-specific mab (analogous to I1F6) has thus far been found in response to mouse immunization with LH, LKu, or LD. In the absence of accepted defined molecular probes in the dog as yet, we conclude that, in contrast to kidney tubular cells, cells of the normal canine liver do not readily stimulate a primary lymphoproliferative autoimmune reaction in vitro despite class II amplification. Thus autoreactivity (as opposed to alloreactivity) is much less prominent in immune recognition of purified cellular components of nondiseased liver tissue than of kidney tissue in which tissue-associated epitopes are more operative.
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