Mice of the inbred strains SJL (H-2s) and AKR (H-2k) are “non-responders” and “low-responders,” respectively, in terms of their capacity to develop antibody responses of the IgE class when immunized with conventional proteins and hapten-protein conjugates under conditions optimal for eliciting IgE responses in “high-responder” mice, such as BALB/c (H-2d), to these same antigens. For example, BALB/c mice preimmunized with ASC and then challenged 7 days later with DNP-ASC develop peak augmented primary IgE anti-DNP antibody responses of 320 PCA units, whereas SJL and AKR mice develop responses which are 16-fold and 4-fold lower, respectively. However, pretreatment of the latter two strains with appropriate doses of either x-irradiation (150 R), cyclophosphamide (100 mg/kg) or ALS (150 µl) before carrier-preimmunization strikingly enhances the magnitude of IgE antibody responses in such mice to levels as high as 64-fold above those of untreated control mice of the same strains.

Evidence obtained in these experiments indicates that the capacity of such maneuvers to convert poor IgE responders to high responder status reflects elimination of nonantigen-specific suppressor T lymphocytes which are naturally present and normally function to suppress or “dampen” the IgE antibody response in a relatively selective manner. It appears that these cells modulate IgE responses by acting at least at two distinct points: 1) The most effective activity seems to be at the level of induction of carrier-specific helper T cells; 2) A second locus of inhibitory activity is more distal in the response, either impeding helper T cell-B cell cooperative interactions or suppressing B cell differentiation and/or function directly. Taken collectively, these observations demonstrate that the state of poor responsiveness of the SJL and AKR strains for the IgE antibody class is not a reflection of a genetic inability to develop IgE responses but rather a manifestation of a genetic capability to actively inhibit IgE antibody synthesis.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.