A secreted product of a T cell leukemic cell line, LH-8, was examined for its biochemical and biological properties. The factor that we have termed Immunoglobulin-Binding T cell Suppressor Factor (IgB-TsF) was shown to be suppressive for the in vitro and in vivo humoral response to a variety (but not all) antigens tested. The cell surface phenotype of the LH-8.1 subclone was M.Ig(-), Thy-1(+), L3T4(-), Lyt-2(+), FcR(-), MAC-1(-), and H-2b(+). In addition, both the cell surface and secreted factor, IgB-TsF, of LH-8.1 expressed determinants that were recognized by anti-I-Jb mAbs but not by an anti-I-Jd monoclonal. The same factor also retained an affinity for the Fc portion of approximately 30% of randomly selected, purified mAbs. This binding could be abolished if the Fab or F(ab')2 fragments of these mAb were used, but was found to be unrelated to isotype of the respective mAbs. Using subclones that expressed quantitative differences in their ability to exert suppression as sources of biosynthetically labeled IgB-TsF, we have shown the suppressor activity correlated with a single, 28 kD protein. Furthermore, comparisons of these same subclones that differ in their suppressor activity, do not show any direct correlation of this biological activity with the expression of the previously described T cell receptor genes. It also suggests that at least some suppressor cell subsets may use the same or related family of T cell receptor genes for their recognitive stage of activation as helper and cytotoxic T cell subsets, but not for their effector stage of immunologic suppression.

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