Low doses of ionizing radiation have a selective immunosuppressive effect on in vivo B cell responses to thymus-independent (TI) antigens. The B cell response, assayed as direct anti-trinitrophenyl (TNP)-specific plaque-forming cells (PFC), induced by type 2, TI antigens (TNP-Ficoll or TNP-Dextran), was reduced, on the average, by 10-fold in animals exposed to 200 rad of ionizing radiation 24 hr before antigen challenge. In contrast, PFC responses to type 1, TI antigens (TNP-lipopolysaccharide or TNP-Brucella abortus) are unaffected in mice exposed to the same dose of radiation. Adoptive transfers showed that this selective immunosuppression is a result of the specific inactivation of the B cell subpopulation responding to type 2, TI antigens. These experiments suggest that physiologic differences exist in the B cell subpopulations of normal mice which respond to type 1, or type 2, TI antigens.

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