Previous work has indicated that tetraparental mice, chimeric since the eight-cell stage because of embryo fusion using histoincompatible strain combinations, possess autospecific immune cells and blocking antibodies. Although this phenomenon has been demonstrated in vitro, it may have relevance to the self-tolerance shown by these mice in vivo. The experiments described here indicate that spleen cells from tetraparental mice can block mixed lymphocyte reactions between the two parental cell types, but not between unrelated strains. Furthermore, this suppressive ability is not affected by an otherwise effective treatment of the tetraparental spleen cells with anti-θ antibody and complement. The in vitro experimental system elaborated here should help to characterize the cell type responsible for the suppression.

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