Normal mouse spleen cells are not capable of mounting a primary cytotoxic T lymphocyte (Tc) response to non-H-2 alloantigens in vitro, although a good secondary H-2-restricted response is observable after in vivo immunization of the responder animals. Suppressor cells are generated in such a primary responses provided a Mls incompatibility exists between the responder and stimulator. These suppressors are not antigen specific, are Thy-1+, Lyt-1+, 2-, I-J-, and are highly radiosensitive. The suppressor cell precursors in normal spleen express the same phenotype. These suppressor cells are probably implicated in the lack of a primary Tc response in a primary mixed lymphocyte reaction across non-H-2 incompatibilities that include an Mls difference.

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