Induction of the immune response can only be completed after antigen is removed from the cellular environment. Primed rabbit lymph node fragments were cultured in vitro with 5 mg/ml BSA. If antigen was removed from the fragments 2 hr later, they produced a normal anti-BSA response, which was first evident 5 days later. If antigen removal was delayed for 3 days, the onset of the response was postponed for 2 to 3 days.
Pulses with BUDR marked the periods of cell proliferation in both sets of cultures, and established that the postponement of antibody production was preceded by a postponement in the wave of proliferation among precursors of antibody forming cells.
The similarity in avidity of antibody-containing fluids from normal and postponed cultures support the idea that the same cell population produced the response in each case.
It was concluded that a reversible state of paralysis could be instituted in antigen-responsive cells, and this state did not depend upon cell-killing. The widespread incidence of temporary paralysis as an early aspect of the immune response was discussed.