In studies reported here, the polyclonal activator lipopolysaccharide was used to stimulate the synthesis and secretion of IgM, IgA, and IgG in cultures of mouse lymphoid cells. The total immunoglobulin of each class which resulted was measured by specific double-antibody radioimmunoassays. The effect of Con A-activated T cells from various tissues on such immunoglobulin synthesis was then assessed. Variations in regulatory T-cell activity among the various lymphoid tissues for IgA but not for IgM or IgG was observed. In particular, Peyer's patches T cells were found to contain a high level of IgA T-cell helper activity compared to that of spleen or peripheral lymph node. The independent variation of T-cell regulatory activity for IgA as compared to that for IgM and IgG among the different tissues is most consistent with there being a separate subset of T cells specifically regulating IgA. The significance of these findings for the understanding of the secretory immune system is discussed.

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