Nineteen of 23 serum samples from patients with secondary syphilis, six of 24 from patients with primary syphilis, and four of seven from patients with early latent syphilis had complement-dependent autolymphocytotoxic reactivity at 15 degrees C. After treatment, the reactivity was decreased. It was not directed only against autologous lymphocytes but also against allogeneic lymphocytes. Sephadex G-200 gel filtration showed that the lymphocytotoxins were present in the IgM-containing exclusion peak. Furthermore, serum samples that had high antibody titres in the Reiter protein complement-fixation test or Wassermann-Kolmer reaction also had a high frequency of cold-reacting autolymphocytotoxins. This indicates that the autolymphocytotoxic reactivity is related to the humoral response in syphilis.
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