The treatment of murine thymocytes with anti-lipomodulin antibody during Con A stimulation causes selective loss of suppressor activity, but not of helper activity on PFC assay, when co-cultured with T cell-depleted spleen cells. Interaction of the antibody with responder cells in thymocyte culture were necessary in the early stage rather than in the later stage of lymphocyte activation by Con A, which suggests that anti-lipomodulin antibody acts in the stage of suppressor T cells generation. When thymocytes were cultured with purified lipomodulin for 48 hr, suppressor activity was induced. Lipomodulin as detected by radioimmunoassay was found to be released from T cells with the phenotype of I-J+, Lyt-1-, Lyt-2+. The immunoprecipitates from the media of Con A-stimulated thymocyte with anti-I-Kk antibody and anti-lipomodulin antibody were analyzed on SDS-gel electrophoresis. I-J products had m.w. 36,000 and 24,000, whereas lipomodulin had m.w. 36,000, 24,000, and 15,000. Because anti-I-Jk antibody could precipitate 125I-labeled lipomodulin purified from rabbit neutrophils, these results suggest that lipomodulin is a product of I-J genes that induces suppressor T cells.

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