Lymphocyte Transformation Test

Charles H Kirkpatrick, Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado, USA

Copyright © 1998 Elsevier Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

The lymphocyte transformation test is based on the observations that, in response to activation with mitogens, antigens, superantigens and antibodies to components of cell membranes, lymphocytes synthesize proteins such as immunoglobulins, cytokines and growth factors, enter the cell cycle, synthesize DNA and replicate, and undergo metabolic and morphologic changes. T lymphocytes are activated by mitogens such as phytohemagglutinin and concan-avalin A, superantigens, anti-CD3 and antigens that are presented by antigen-presenting cells. B Lymphocytes are activated by anti-immunoglobulins, bacterial lipopolysaccharides and staphylococcal protein A.

The lymphocyte transformation test has become one of the most widely used in vitro tests for evaluation of lymphocyte functions in clinical immunology. The general procedures used in this test are also used to study the biochemical events that accompany lymphocyte activation, effector functions of activated lymphocytes and to produce clones of specific antigen-responsive lymphocytes.

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