The responses to the synthetic antigens, L-glutamic acid(60)-L- alanine(30)-L-tyrosine(10) (GAT) and L-glutamic acid(50)-L-tyrosine(50) (GT) are controlled by genes in the I region of the mouse H-2 complex (1-3). Preimmunization of the mice bearing the H-2(p,q,s) nonresponder haplotypes with GAT stimulates the development of suppressor T cells that inhibit in vivo or in vitro antibody responses to GAT complexed to the immunogenic carrier, methylated bovine serum albumin (GAT-MBSA) (4). The copolymer GT is not immunogenic in any inbred mouse strain tested, and has a suppressive effect on the antibody responses to GT-MBSA in mouse strains bearing the H-2(d,f,k,s) haplotypes; suppressor T cells have been demonstrated to be responsible for specific GT suppression (3).
We have obtained specific suppressive extracts from thymus and spleen cells of GAT-or GT-primed suppressor strains (5,6). The specific suppressive T-cell factors in the active extracts have been characterized (6,7) and appear similar to the carrier-specific suppressor factor described by Tada and Taniguchi (8). These products belong to a family of newly identified molecules coded for by the I region of the H-2 complex with affinity for antigen and helper (9,10) or suppressive (5-8) regulatory activity on the immune response.
Recently, Tada et al. have reported that the keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH)-specific suppressor factor is coded for by the I-J subregion of the H-2 complex (11). We now demonstrate also that a GT-specific suppressor factor extracted from the spleens and thymuses of B10.BR (H-2(k)) mice bears determinants controlled by the I-J subregion of the H-2 complex.