Both normal mouse bone marrow and cells from T cell-containing colonies grown in vitro from normal bone marrow contain cells which can specifically suppress the development of cytotoxic T lymphocytes capable of recognizing alloantigens on the bone marrow or colony cells. Suppression, as assessed by reduction in cytotoxic activity, is produced by adding bone marrow or colony cells to mixed lymphocyte reactions between lymph node responder cells and irradiated histoincompatible spleen stimulator cells. The cytotoxic activity is reduced if the added bone marrow or colony cells are syngeneic or semisyngeneic to the stimulator cells but not if they are allogeneic. Suppression results from a reduction in the number of cytotoxic lymphocyte precursor cells activated in the cultures. The suppressor cells in bone marrow are radiation sensitive and Thy-1 negative; those in colonies grown from bone marrow are radiation resistant and Thy-1 positive.

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