• We tested the hypothesis that anergy is associated with reduced delivery of mononuclear cells (MNCs) to delayed-type hypersensitivity sites and that cytokine (CK)-rich supernatants from mixed lymphocyte cultures overcome the defect. Significantly fewer MNCs were delivered to skin window chambers placed over purified protein derivative (PPD) injection sites of previously sensitized anergic patients compared with hospitalized PPD-reactive patients; coinjection of CK with PPD restored the MNC delivery in anergic patients to normal levels. The T cells cloned from a PPD+CK site of an anergic patient consisted of CD4+ and CD8+ cells whose capacities included cytotoxicity and lymphokine production. The frequency of PPD-reactive cells was 15 times greater than in the blood. Thus, the restoration by CK of the delivery of antigen-specific cells capable of participating in cell-mediated immunity in anergic patients may be feasible.
(Arch Surg 1988;123:1470-1473)