Exposure of normal mouse spleen cells in vitro to highly 125I-labeled dinitrophenyl (DNP)-protein carrier conjugates specifically inactivated cells able to mount an immune response to that hapten after in vivo challenge. The deletion was hapten specific and independent of the radioactive carrier to which the hapten was bound. DNP-binding cells were inactivated by radioactivity that was not part of the hapten, but was solely confined to the carrier moiety. The deletion of the anti-DNP response lasted 2–3 wk and could be specifically inhibited.

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