An idiotype of the dinitrophenyl-binding myeloma protein MOPC 460 was expressed on a small but significant proportion of anti-TNP antibodies which appeared after in vivo or in vitro immunization of BALB/c mice with three T-independent TNP antigens. In vitro experiments show that the depletion of T cells before culture increased significantly the number of plaques secreting anti-TNP antibodies bearing MOPC 460 idiotype (460Id). T cells from BALB/c mice, but not from C.B20 mice, exhibit this suppressor activity. Plate-binding experiments indicate that the suppressive action of the T-lymphocyte population depends on a cell which can bind to MOPC 460 myeloma protein. The possible role of these normally occurring, idiotype-specific T cells on expression of 460Id in the anti-TNP antibody response of BALB/c mice is discussed.

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