The adaptation of the plaque reduction assay for measuring specific cytotoxic cells in limiting dilution cultures

T. Ezaki, Neil Christensen, M. A. Skinner, J. Marbrook

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The use of the original haemolytic plaque reduction technique to measure cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) has been developed further as a rapid screening assay, particularly suitable for limiting dilution analyses. Using hybridoma cells as targets, the cytotoxicity has been measured by the loss of haemolytic plaque formation and by the reduction of the amount of haemolytic monoclonal antibody secreted from viable target cells into the assay supernatants. The assessment of large numbers of cytotoxic samples has been greatly facilitated by quantitating the amount of haemoglobin released in the assay with an automated microELISA multiscanner and by scoring visually using a modification of the spot test. Using these new techniques, relatively high frequency estimates of cytotoxic cell precursors in an allogeneic response (1 in 462 spleen cells) and an anti-fluorescein response (1 in 3970 spleen cells) were obtained. Since the methods are very simple, rapid, and sensitive, these assay systems provide effective alternatives to radioisotope release in limiting dilution analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-368
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Immunological Methods
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 10 1984


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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