Suppressor cells were generated in BALB/c mice by two sequential injections of PR8 influenza virus (A/Puerto Rico/8/34[H1N1]) and were tested for their ability to inhibit proliferative cellular responses towards multiple viral and nonviral antigens. In this way, suppression specific to PR8 as compared with purified protein derivative (PPD) and keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) antigenic responses was illustrated. Experiments involving adoptive transfer of suppression to naive hosts with subfractionated lymphocyte populations demonstrated that the suppressors were Lyt-2+ T cells. Two major questions were addressed with this system. First, a determination was made of which anti-viral protein proliferative responses were affected by the PR8-induced T suppressor (Ts) cells. Ts cells were found to inhibit proliferating cells with specificities for isolated hemagglutinin (HA), neuraminidase (NA), nucleoprotein (NP), and matrix (M) antigens. Second, experiments were conducted to analyze the viral proteins contributing to the induction of PR8-specific Ts cells. Inoculations with either isolated HA or a combination of M + NP proteins induced T suppression specific to proliferative responses towards PR8. These experiments illustrate the contribution of external (HA and NA) as well as internal (M + NP) viral proteins to Ts cell generation and function.

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