Although both the T and B cells of the Lewis rat have immunoglobulin receptors for basic protein (BP) of myelin, and both cell types are required for antibody production to BP, the present results demonstrate that the T cells are the only cells required for the induction of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE). Both EAE and anti-BP were readily induced in thymectomized, irradiated Lewis rats reconstituted with normal thymus and bone marrow cells and challenged with BP in complete Freund's adjuvant. If the thymus cells were first treated with BP heavily labeled with 125I so as to eliminate (sucide) specific T cells, the recipients neither develop EAE nor produce antibody to BP. On the other hand, if the thymus cells were untreated and the specific B cells of bone marrow were eliminated by treatment with 125I-BP, EAE was not inhibited, although no antibody was produced. These results strongly suggest that the T cell is responsible for the induction of EAE although both the T and B cells are competent to respond to BP. Evidence was presented which suggests that neither suppressor T cells nor circulating antibody are involved in the inhibition of EAE by injection of Lewis rats with nonencephalitogenic preparations of BP. The immune status of T and B cells of the Lewis rat to BP was compared with the immune status of these cells in other species to thyroglobulin, where only the B cells appear to be competent. In this context, Brown Norway rats, which are resistant to the induction of EAE, also appear to lack T cells reactive to BP, although competent B cells are present.

This content is only available as a PDF.