Passive transfer of thymocytes and spleen cells from donors primed with keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) caused significant decrease in the average avidity of anti-DNP antibodies produced by direct and indirect PFC in the recipients in both primary and adoptive secondary antibody responses against DNP-KLH. The analysis of the avidity distribution of antibodies produced by plaque-forming cells (PFC) indicated that the observed decrease in the average avidity is primarily due to the selective loss of high avidity subpopulation of PFC leaving low avidity subpopulation relatively unaffected. The degree of suppression in antibody avidity did not correlate with the reduction in the number of PFC, and thus causing the "shift" of avidity distribution of PFC to the low avidity end. These results indicate that the "maturation" of antibody in the T-cell-dependent antibody response is influenced by the carrier-specific suppressor T cells with respect to the emergence and selection of B cells having high affinity receptors for hapten. It is suggested that B cells binding antigen with high affinity receptors would be more easily affected than those with low affinity receptors by specific suppressor T cells which are capable of reacting the carrier portion of the same antigen.

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