BALB/c mice treated with total lymphoid irradiation (TLI) develop non-antigen-specific suppressor cells of the adoptive secondary antibody response and of the mixed leukocyte reaction. Suppressors of the adoptive anti-DNP response were eliminated by incubation of spleen cells with anti-Thy-1.2 or anti-thymus-leukemia (TL) antiserum and complement before cell transfer. Thymectomy before TLI prevented the appearance of the latter suppressor cells. On the other hand, suppressors of the MLR were eliminated by incubation of spleen cells with anti-Thy-1.2 but not anti-TL antiserum and complement. Thymectomy before TLI did not prevent their subsequent development. Thus, two subpopulations of suppressor T cells that differ in the expression of the TL surface antigen, dependence on the presence of the thymus, and in regulatory functions develop after TLI. The TL+, thymus-dependent cell suppresses the adoptive antibody response, and the TL-, thymus-independent cell suppresses the MLR.

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