The ability of suppressor cells induced by the intravenous administration of 4-hydro-3-nitrophenyl acetyl (NP)-modified syngeneic cells to reduce an idiotypic B cell response was studied in both an in vivo and an in vitro system. Idiotype-positive B cells were assayed by the ability of guinea pig anti-idiotypic antiserum to specifically inhibit idiotype-positive plaque formation. It was found that up to 57% of the PFC response in vivo and 100% of the PFC response in vitro was inhibitable with antiidiotypic antiserum. The expression of these idiotype-positive B cells could be suppressed by the transfer of spleen cells form mice treated 7 d previously with NP coupled syngeneic cels. T cells are both required and sufficient for the transfer of idiotype specific suppression. The induction of these idiotype-specific T suppressor cells directly with antigen suggests that recognition of unique determinants on cell surfaces is important for regulation of lymphoid cell interactions. The role of idiotype-specific suppressor cells in the network of lymphoid interactions is discussed.

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