The specificity of antigen recognition by thymus-derived helper cells (T cells) and antibody was examined in mice, heterologous erythrocyte antigens from sheep (SRBC), goat (GRBC), burro (BRBC), chicken (CRBC), and toad (TRBC) being used. Antibody specificity was tested by a number of functional assays: hemagglutination, hemolysis, and immune suppression. The specificity of T cells was determined by titrating their ability to help the in vitro antitrinitrophenol (TNP) responses of mouse spleen cultures immunized with the hapten coupled to the various test erythrocytes as carrier. Anti-SRBC antibody cross-reacted with GRBC, but not with BRBC, CRBC, or TRBC. In contrast, SRBC-primed helper T cells cross-reacted with both GRBC and BRBC, but not with CRBC or TRBC, indicating a difference in the specificity of antigen recognition between the cellular and the humoral immune responses.

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