Spleen cells of b4b6 rabbits, shown to be deficient in their ability to produce b4Ig due to prenatal exposure to anti-b4, formed anti-T2 antibodies marked with the b4 determinant in response to solubilized T2 phage (S-T2) only when cultured in the presence of antibodies specific for the nonsuppressed type (b6), thus confirming and extending the previously reported observation of release from b4 suppression in cultured cells of b4-suppressed b4b5 rabbits treated with anti-b5 serum. Only antiallotype sera made in b4 rabbits were active in reversing b4 suppression. Anti-b5 or anti-b6 sera from rabbits of allotypes b6 or b5, respectively, when used in concentrations which completely or partially inhibited the formation of anti-T2 antibodies marked with the corresponding nonsuppressed allotype of the spleen donor, proved to be almost completely ineffective in causing release of suppression. Exceptions were noted when spleen cells of rabbits advanced in spontaneous escape from suppression were tested with such sera. The addition of normal b4 serum to non-b4 antiallotypic sera rendered them as effective in releasing b4 suppression in vitro as were antisera from b4 rabbits. Furthermore, the capacity of a b4 antiallotype serum to cause reversal of b4 suppression could be potentiated by the addition of normal b4 serum, indicating that nonantibody b4 Ig is a limiting factor in such a serum. Thus, the release from allotype suppression observed in cultures of spleen cells from b4-suppressed heterozygous rabbits is dependent upon the presence of two components: antibodies directed against the nonsuppressed allotype of the donor and normal b4Ig. These findings are interpreted in terms of alternate hypotheses involving (a) a mechanism of b4 derepression and (b) inactivation of a suppressor cell with recognition for a b4-labeled target.

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