PMID: 58934Jul 1, 1976

Induction of specific suppressor T cells in vitro

The Journal of Immunology : Official Journal of the American Association of Immunologists
D D Eardley, R K Gershon


We describe conditions for generating sheep red blood cell-specific suppressor T cells in Mishell-Dutton cultures. The production of specific suppressor cells is favored by increasing antigen dose in the initial culture but can be produced by transferring more cells when lower doses of antigen are used. Transfer of small numbers of cells cultured with low doses of antigen leads to a specific helper effect. Transfer of large numbers of educated cells leads to nonspecific suppression. Suppression can be effected by the effluent cells from nylon wool columns which do not make detectable PFC. A fraction of these cells become resistant to treatment with anti-T cell sera and complement after culture. The suppressor cells are radiation sensitive and must be able to synthesize protein to suppress. They take 2 to 3 days of education to reach maximum suppressive efficiency and will not suppress cultures if added 2 to 3 days after culture initiation. Their production is favored by the absence of mercaptoethanol, suggesting that the observed suppression is not "too much help". The ability to generate specific suppressor cells in vitro should be of great benefit in determining the factors that regulate their appearance in vivo.

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