The isoimmune response of fowl inoculated with RBC coated with antibody was investigated. Anti-B antiserum from a single animal was used to coat different donor type RBC. With each donor type RBC the immune response to the coated determinants is suppressed. Enhancement of the immune response to noncoated determinants occurs when they are products of an allelic gene or belong to a different blood group system. Coating some B antigen determinants suppresses the response to noncoated determinants of the same antigen, i.e., determinants which are products of the same B gene. Varying the quantity of passive antibody revealed that the degree of suppression and the degree of enhancement are negatively correlated.
These findings support the concept that antibody-coated determinants function as carrier for noncoated determinants, provided a certain physical association exists between them. A further interpretation of these studies is that in certain situations an antibody to one antigen may interfere with events which lead to an immune response to a different antigen. The possibility, that the protection afforded by ABO incompatibility against Rh isoimmunization is because of a similar phenomenon, is discussed. A hypothesis is presented which states that where the immune response to certain antigens behaves as a dominantly inherited trait, and is associated with histocompatibility type, the nonresponder animals possess an antibody (perhaps cell bound) which interferes with the response to determinants for which it does not have specificity. Responders are assumed to lack this antibody because it has specificity for their major histocompatibility antigens.