Specific tolerance to phosphorylcholine (PC) can be induced in BALB/c mice by neonatal injection with either pneumococcal C-polysaccharide (PnC) or anti-TEPC 15 idiotype (T15Id) antibody specific for the major idiotype (Id) of anti-PC antibody. Spleen cells from these tolerant mice exhibited T cell-mediated active suppression of anti-PC response when they were co-cultured with normal spleen cells. Suppressor cells from the PnC-injected mice appeared to bear either Lyt-1 or Lyt-2 antigens, whereas suppressor cells from anti-Id-treated mice expressed Lyt-2 antigens. Analyses of the specific receptors of these suppressor T cells, based on either adherence to PC and T15-coated petri dishes or cytolysis by rabbit anti-T15Id and monoclonal IgM anti-PC antibody with complement, revealed that receptors of PnC-induced suppressor T cells recognize PC, whereas receptors of anti-Id-induced suppressor T cells react with the T15Id. The possible interaction of the two different types of suppressor T cells was examined by co-culturing normal spleen cells with mixtures of the different suppressor cell types in various cell ratios in the presence of the T-independent PC-antigen, R36a. A brief incubation of anti-Id-induced, T15Id-specific suppressor T cells with PnC-induced, hapten-specific, and T15Id-bearing suppressor T cells resulted in complete cancellation of their suppressor function. These results suggest that idiotype network regulation may also occur among suppressor T cell population.

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