Modulation of the cyclical response in rabbits to aggregated human gamma globulin (AHuIgG) was investigated in order to study some of the parameters involved in self-regulation of the immune response. Several mitogens (lipopolysaccharide [LPS], phytohemagglutinin [PHA], and concanavalin A [Con A]), when injected simultaneously with antigen, have been shown to modulate the normal splenic plaque-forming cell (PFC) response in rabbits to a single intravenous injection of AHuIgG. This response to AHuIgG has previously been characterized by the initial appearance of PFC in the spleen 3 days later, with a peak of PFC at 5 days after injection. The number of PFC in the spleen then decreases and remains at a low level until a second increase begins on day 10, peaking on day 13. The 8-day cycle between peak PFC repeats, with a third peak appearing on day 21. In the present studies, injection of LPS with AHuIgG was shown to affect the PFC response by enhancing only the initial peak of PFC, PHA was shown to enhance both the initial and secondary peaks of PFC, while injection of Con A with AHuIgG resulted in a prolonged increase in PFC with no apparent cycling. Irradiation 24 h after injection of antigen resulted in PFC kinetics similar to those observed with PHA, although the increase in PFC was more marked with irradiation. Thus, although LPS, PHA, Con A, and irradiation markedly affected the immune response to AHuIgG, Con A was the only substance which altered the cyclical appearance of PFC to HuIgG. The cyclical nature of the PFC kinetics was shown to occur with either intravenous or intraperitoneal injection of antigen and in both primary and secondary responses, provided that the rabbits were primed with a low dose of antigen. Data were obtained that suggest that the response in distal lymph nodes may be regulated by immunological events occurring in the spleen. Cycling of PFC was not observed in the draining node after subcutaneous injection of AHuIgG in the hind foot. However, if the antigen was also injected intravenously at the same time as the subcutaneous injection, the response in the node became cyclical.

This content is only available as a PDF.