Antiidiotypic immunity can successfully inhibit the development of antitubular basement membrane (alpha TBM) disease that produces interstitial nephritis. Rats normally immunized to produce disease, however, do not develop this regulatory and protective antiidiotypic effect. The failure to see such a regulatory response is functionally related to the influence of a nonspecific, RT7.1+, OX8-suppressor T cell that appears shortly after immunization. While this suppressor cell system can partially reduce the intensity of disease, it also limits the host's ability to specifically regulate the alpha TBM immune response and, hypothetically, leaves the disease process in an operationally active mode.
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