A specific state of T- and B-cell tolerance to human gamma-globulin (HGG) was induced in utero by intravenous administration of the deaggregated antigen to pregnant BALB/cCr mice. Tolerance persisted in the offspring until the 12th-wk of age and then began to gradually disappear. Suppressor cells could only be found when responsiveness to HGG ultimately appeared in the in utero-treated animals but not when they were completely unresponsives. In contrast, HGG-specific suppressors found in animals made unresponsive to HGG as adults appear to be associated with either the establishment and/or maintenance of the unresponsive state. To the extent that these experiments are consistent with natural self-tolerance to a serum protein, we conclude that active suppression is not a prerequisite from maintenance of unresponsiveness to self.

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