Anti-idiotypic antibodies have been used to mimic antigen in the mouse antiphosphorylcholine response in order to investigate the induction of precursors of antibody-forming cells. We have shown that interaction of anti-idiotype antibody with receptor antibody molecules induces the formation of antibodies that are specific for phosphorylcholine and carry the idiotypic determinants. This induction is dependent on the recognition of carrier determinants on the anti-idiotype antibody by helper T cells. We conclude that receptor antibody molecules on the surface of the precursors of antibody-forming cells deliver the antigenic signal for the induction of these cells.

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