Previous studies indicated that T cells are required for tolerance induction by hapten-modified syngeneic spleen cells (TNP-SC) in vivo. The role of T cells in the maintenance of this unresponsive state has been examined herein. By three criteria—limiting dilution precursor analysis, removal of T cells by anti-Thy-1 + C, and direct mixing experiments—we show that T cells are required for the continued suppression of the B cell response to the T-independent antigen, TNP-POL. Suppressor cells can also be induced by TNP-teratoma cells, which lack detectable H-2 antigens. Both anti-Ly-1 + C and anti-Ly-2 + C treatment reversed suppression induced by TNP-SC. These results demonstrate that normal B cell reactivity is present in the spleens of mice rendered tolerant by haptenated self, but that Ly-1,2,3 or Ly-1 + Ly-2,3 suppressor T cells prevent their responsiveness.

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