The feeding of sheep erythrocytes (SRBC) to mice leads to the production of two distinct T cell-derived suppressor factors by spleen cells. Each has been characterized for specificity, genetic restrictions, and cellular interactions. Fraction I has a 60,000-75,000 mol wt, is specific for antigen, and is suppressive of primary in vitro anti-SRBC responses at all times. It is not restricted by major histocompabitility complex (MHC)- or Igh-linked genes, but it fails to suppress spleen cells derived from any strain of mouse with a B10 background. It acts on an Lyt-2+ T cell to increase suppressive activity. An antiserum has been prepared against this factor that reacts with other, unrelated T cell suppressor factors. Fraction II has an approximately 30,000-40,000 mol wt, is specific for antigen, and has a dual effect on in vitro anti-SRBC responses. On day 3 of culture, it leads to augmentation of the response, whereas at day 5 it suppresses the response. It is not restricted by MHC genes, but it is restricted by Igh-linked genets. It acts by activating an Ly-1 t cell to both help and induce feedback suppression. These factors, and the antisera prepared against them, should allow more precise dissection of the molecular pathways by which immunoregulatory cells communicate with one another.

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