An acceptor hybridoma with a receptor that recognizes the keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH)-specific suppressor T cell factor (KLH-TsF) was established after the fusion of C57BL/6 splenic T cells enriched with KLH-coated petri dishes. The cloned hybridoma (34S-281) could be specifically activated by stimulation with the conventional KLH-TsF or monoclonal KLH-TsF from three different hybridomas in the absence of the relevant antigen (KLH) and it started to produce another factor that suppresses the antibody response against DNP-KLH in a KLH-specific fashion. The KLH specificity of the TsF was required for activation. The new factor was found not to bind the KLH but to be absorbed with the KLH-TsF-producing hybridoma. It is thus strongly suggested that the acceptor site has a complementary structure (antiidiotype) for the KLH-TsF. Moreover, the idiotypic determinant on KLH-TsF was found to have a structure similar to that on some of the anti-KLH antibodies, since the acceptor hybridoma was specifically killed by the conventional anti-KLH antibodies and complement. Drawing on the above results, the idiotype-antiidiotype network in the conventional antigen system is discussed.

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