When purified CBA lymph node T cells were mixed with sheep erythrocytes (SRC) and filtered from blood to lymph through irradiated syngeneic mice for 1-2 days, the donor cells lost their capacity to stimulate anti-SRC responses by CBA B cells; the response to a third-party antigen (horse erythrocytes) was unaffected and active suppression was not involved. This process of specific negative selection to SRC also occurred when semiallogeneic mice were used as filtration hosts. By contrast, when allogeneic hosts were used the helper function of the donor cells was not reduced; this applied to both primed and unprimed T cells. Studied with congeneic resistant strains indicated that negative selection to SRC occurred only when the donor and host shared H-2 determinants. Studies with T cells depleted of alloreactive lymphocytes showed that negative selection to SRC in irradiated F1 hybrid mice was followed by a stage of positive selection where the donor cells gave greatly increased responses to the injected antigen. Positive selection did not occur in H-2-different mice, however, and the helper function of the donor cells remained unchanged. By these parameters it was concluded that homozygous T helper cells have no detectable capacity to recognize antigen in an H-2-different environment.

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