Immunoglobulin G-binding factors (IgG-BF), which are produced by cells of the immune system, inhibit antibody production. In this paper, we show that transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) suppresses secondary in vitro anti-sheep red blood cell responses of mouse splenocytes and lipopolysaccharide- or anti-IgM-stimulated mouse B cell responses in a way similar to, and with the same kinetics as, rodent IgG-BF. Moreover, the immunosuppressive activity of IgG-BF was totally neutralized by polyclonal and monoclonal anti-TGF-beta antibodies and it eluted with TGF-beta by gel exclusion chromatography, suggesting that a TGF-beta-like immunosuppressive factor is present in IgG-BF. We also show that TGF-beta behaves as an IgG-BF since it binds to insolubilized IgG, but not to insolubilized F(ab')2 or bovine serum albumin. Altogether, the data support the concept of a biological role for TGF-beta in the IgG-mediated negative feedback of antibody responses.

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