The immune responses to sheep erythrocytes of mouse spleen cell suspensions from immune and nonimmune donors were compared in vitro. In vivo immunity was only transiently reflected in vitro, and 8 wk after in vivo immunization the responses of cultures from immunized and nonimmunized mice were virtually identical. There appeared to be two mechanisms for an antibody response to sheep erythrocytes. The first was responsible for the early primary response and is unmodified in the immune animal though contributing little to subsequent in vivo responses due to its suppressibility by specific antibody. The second was expressed in the in vivo secondary response but not on in vitro challenge of spleen cells from mice immunized many weeks previously; spleen cell cultures from such immune mice, freed from the antibody of the in vivo environment, once again demonstrate a pure primary-type response.

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