Delayed type hypersensitivity to the hapten azobenzenearsonate (ABA) can be induced and suppressed by the administration of hapten-coupled syngeneic spleen cells by the appropriate route. Suppressor T cells stimulated by the intravenous administration of ABA-coupled spleen cells have been shown to produce a discrete subcellular factor(s) which is capable of suppressing delayed type hypersensitivity to azobenzenearsonate in the mouse. Such suppressor factors may be produced by the mechanical disruption of suppressor cells or by placing such suppressor cells in culture for 24 h. The suppressor factor(s) (SF) derived from ABA-specific suppressor cells exhibit biological specificity for the suppression of ABA delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH), but not trinitro-phenyl DTH, as well as the capacity to bind to ABA immunoadsorbents. Passage of suppressor factor(s) over reverse immunoadsorbents utilizing a rabbit anti-mouse F(ab')2 antiserum demonstrated that the antigen-specific T-cell derived SF does not bear conventional immunoglobulin markers. The suppressor factor(s) are not immunoglobulin molecules was further demonstrated by the inability of anti-ABA antibodies to suppress ABA DTH. Gel filtration of ABA suppressor factor(s) showed that the majority of the suppressive activity was present in a fraction with molecular weight ranging between 6.8 x 10(4) and 3.3 x 10(4) daltons. We also analyzed for the presence of determinants encoded by the H-2 major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and found that immunoadsorbents prepared utilizing antisera capable of interacting with gene products of the whole or selected gene regions of H-2 MHC, i.e., B10.D2 anti-B10.A and B10 anti-B10.A immunoadsorbents, retained the suppressive activity of ABA-SF. Elution of such columns with glycine HCl buffers (pH 2.8) permitted recovery of specific suppressive activity. Taken collectively such data supports the notion that suppressor T-cell-derived ABA suppressor factors have antigen-binding specificity as well as determinants controlled by the K end of the H-2 MHC. The distribution of strains capable of making SF has also been analyzed. The relationship of the antigen-binding specificity to VH gene products is discussed in this and the companion paper.

This content is only available as a PDF.