Treatment of responder cells with monoclonal anti-Ly-1,2 antibodies plus complement in vitro completely eliminated their ability to generate azobenzenearsonate (ABA)-specific cytolytic T lymphocytes (CTL). However, addition of the concanavalin A-stimulated supernatants of rat spleen cells (Con A-Sup) can fully reconstitute the response. Therefore, Lyt-1,2-bearing T cells are required for the generation of ABA-specific CTL, and such requirement can be replaced by factors present in the Con A- sup. Suppressor T cells (Ts), when adoptively transferred into naive recipients, will inhibit the in vivo priming of CTL. This inhibition can also be reversed by in vitro addition of Con A-Sup. furthermore, mice serving as donors of Ts also show profound unresponsiveness when primed and restimulated in vitro. In contrast to the Ts-mediated inhibition, in vitro addition of Con A-Sup was unable to abolish the unresponsiveness observed in these cultures. Thus, we identified two unresponsive states in a hapten-specific killing system that differ in their ability to be reconstituted by Con A-Sup.

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