The effects of actinomycin D and puromycin on spleen cell suspensions from rabbits immunized to SRC's were studied. These inhibitors, in high concentration, suppressed PFC's when added initially to recently isolated cells. When such cells were incubated for several days in the presence of both antigen and inhibitor, both actinomycin D and puromycin produced an increase in PFC's after the initial suppression. This recovery effect was best seen with cells from rabbits killed 3 days after boosting with SRC's, and was usually absent when cells were taken from rabbits killed 2 days after boosting. When actinomycin D or puromycin was added after several days in culture in the presence of SRC's, surviving PFC's were found to be not only resistant to these inhibitors, but there was also an increased number of PFC's compared to similar cultures incubated without these agents.
Radioautographic studies showed that PFC's stimulated by the presence of actinomycin D or puromycin were not incorporating precursors for RNA or protein synthesis. In view of the known mode of action of these inhibitors, it was postulated that they were stimulating antibody production by PFC's in vitro either by interfering with represser mechanisms or stimulating the completion of antibody molecules, perhaps by causing the release of preformed antibody chains from ribosomes.
Since the presence of specific antigens in vitro were necessary for these observed stimulatory effects on PFC's, and since antigens were producing an effect on antibody production on cells which were being suppressed by these inhibitors, added initially, it was further suggested that one role of antigen in the immune response was concerned with the completion of antibody synthesis on the ribosomes, perhaps by acting as an inducer as has been suggested previously (1).