The present studies have identified cloned Lyt-1+2- T suppressor (Ts) cells that are both antigen specific and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) restricted in their activation requirements and that function to regulate the MHC-restricted activation of B cells by T helper (Th) cells. ParentA-restricted Ts clones suppressed, in antigen-specific fashion, the responses generated by (A X B)F1 Th cells cooperating with parentA (B plus accessory) cells, but did not suppress responses by the same (A X B)F1 Th cell population cooperating with parentB (B plus accessory) cells. Moreover, responses of (A X B)F1 leads to parentA Th cells and (A X B)F1 (B plus accessory) cells were suppressed by parentA-restricted Ts clones but not by parentB-restricted Ts clones. Thus, these findings suggest that the cloned Ts cells that have been characterized here function by specifically inhibiting the MHC-restricted interaction between Th cells and B and/or accessory cells. It was further demonstrated in experiments using cloned Th and Ts populations that these Lyt-1+2-Ts cells act not simply as inducers of suppressor but rather function in a restricted fashion as effector cells in the suppressor pathway.

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