We have examined the ability of anti-receptor antibody (ARA) to induce specific unresponsiveness to the hapten, phosphorylcholine (PC), in neonatal and adult mice. When ARA is given to adult mice, suppression is of short duration. Cells from such mice are responsive in vitro, indicating that suppression in vivo is probably due to blockade of receptors by persisting ARA. ARA given to neonatal mice induces long-term unresponsiveness. These mice apparently have decreased numbers of PC-responsive cells, since cells from such mice are unresponsive both in vitro and in adoptive transfer. Furthermore, cells from neonatally suppressed animals do not suppress the response of normal cells either in vitro or in adoptive transfer, indicating that unresponsiveness is most likely not due to active suppression. We therefore conclude that ARA given to neonates depletes the clone of receptor-bearing cells at the time ARA is given. Clonal depletion may result from antibody-dependent cell mediated cytotoxicity.

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