Lymphocytes from mice immunized with human rhinovirus (HRV) serotypes 1A or 15 proliferated in response to HRV and the activated cells were shown to be helper T (Th) cells. Lymphocytes from mice primed with HRV-1A responded to seven of eight heterologous virus serotypes, the responses to other minor cell receptor group viruses being greater than to those belonging to the major cell receptor group. A similar bias was seen with cells from mice primed with HRV-15 in that they responded preferentially to other major receptor group viruses. This pattern of cross-serotype recognition was shown to be similar in three inbred mouse strains and was not dependent upon the major histocompatibility complex haplotype. These results have revealed that there are determinants within the viral proteins of a number of serotypes of HRV that are recognized by Th cells primed against a single HRV serotype. Thus, at the level of Th cell recognition of HRV, a cross-serotype reactivity is seen which is not reflected in the B cell antibody response to virus, which is generally highly serotype-specific.


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