It has been previously shown that alloantisera prepared by reciprocal immunization of strain 2 and strain 13 guinea pigs specifically block the activation of T lymphocytes from immune guinea pigs by antigens, the response to which is controlled by Ir genes. In this report we have examined the effect of absorption of the 13 anti-2 serum with different populations of lymphoid cells. It is unlikely that the inhibitory activity of the anti-2 serum on the proliferation of (2 x 13)F1 lymphocytes to a DNP derivative of a copolymer of L-glutamic and L-lysine (DNP-GL) is due to the presence of antibodies specific for the unique antigenic determinants (idiotypes) of clonally distributed T-lymphocyte receptors. Thus, cells obtained from a normal animal and a DNP-GL immune animal were equivalent in their absorptive capacity. Populations of T lymphocytes were ineffective in absorbing either the cytotoxic or inhibitory activity of the anti-2 serum, while L2C leukemia cells, a malignant B-cell population, were most efficient in absorbing both activities. Thus, the antigen(s) against which the cytotoxic and inhibitory activities are directed are present to a greater extent on B lymphocytes than on T lymphocytes. However, these results do not allow us to definitively determine whether the inhibitory activity of the alloantisera is due to antibodies specific for Ir gene products or antibodies specific for linked antigens in the MHC.
We also examined the effect of a number of anti-immunoglobulin reagents which had specificity for the heavy and/or light chains of guinea pig immunoglobulin on the in vitro lymphocyte proliferative response to antigen. Under conditions in which we were able to completely and specifically suppress the response of (2 x 13)F1 lymphocytes to DNP-GL with anti-2 serum, the anti-immunoglobulin reagents were devoid of inhibitory effect on the response of these same F1 cells to DNP-GL, a copolymer of L-glutamic and L-tyrosine (GT), or purified protein derivative of tuberculin (PPD). These results strongly suggest that conventional serum-type immunoglobulin is not important in antigen recognition by the T cells involved in the DNA synthetic response.