Monolayers formed of normal mouse spleen cells attached to polystyrene coated with poly-L-lysine were tested for their ability to bind specifically antigen-reactive cells in normal or primed mouse spleen. 88 to greater than 98% of the activity of cytotoxic populations was removed by a single adsorption. However, normal spleen cells or spleen cells previously primed in vitro could not be depleted of their capacity to be sensitized, even when adsorption effectively removed all residual cytotoxic activity from the same previously primed population. In fact, exposure to an immunoadsorbent augmented the ultimate cytotoxicity generated in a nonspecific fashion. This augmentation was especially dramatic in the case of a previously primed population and may have reflected the removal of a nonspecific suppressor. If antigen-reactive precursors cannot be removed efficiently by adsorption, other approaches to the generation of tolerant lymphoid populations, such as specific suppression of precursor differentiation must be sought.

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