The kinetics of IgE antibody response to alum-absorbed dinitrophenyl derivatives of ovalbumin (DNP-OA) was dependent on the dose of immunogen. A persistent IgE antibody response was obtained when high responder BDF1 mice were immunized with a minimum (0.05 µg) dose. An increase of the immunogen to 10 µg depressed IgE antibody responses but enhanced IgG antibody responses of both hapten and carrier specificities. Determination of T helper cell activity and B memory cells after immunization with different doses of antigen indicated that minimum immunogen was favorable for developing helper activity, whereas 1 to 10 µg immunogen were more favorable than a 0.05-µg dose for developing both IgE and IgG B memory cells. Nevertheless, neither helper T cells nor B memory cells in the spleen explains a transient IgE antibody response to a high (10 µg) dose of DNP-OA. Evidence was obtained that immunization with 10 µg OA induced generation of antigen-specific suppressor T cells, which were not detectable after immunization with 0.05 µg OA. Transfer of suppressor T cells to DNP-OA-primed mice depressed both anti-hapten and anti-carrier IgE antibody responses. The results suggested strongly that suppressor T cells are involved in a transient IgE antibody response to a high-dose immunogen.

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