A monoclonal antibody (3C-7) specific for a determinant localized on the carboxy-terminus of the BSA molecule (P505-582) has been shown to cause suppression of the multispecific BSA antibody response if given i.v. before immunization. The fine binding specificity and the isotype subclass are not responsible for the suppression generated. Administration of 3C-7 i.v. results in the generation of a suppressor T cell that, when transferred into reconstituted irradiated mice, results in a diminished anti-BSA response. Suppression can be eliminated by panning T cells on idiotype (3C-7) coated plates, but not by panning on BSA, polyclonal anti-BSA antibodies, or MOPC 21. The action of the cell is antigen (BSA) specific. Idiotype-binding T cells reconstitute suppression and appear to be Lyt-1-2+. These observations demonstrate that a limited set of monoclonal antibodies directed against a single determinant on a protein molecule have the capacity to regulate the immune response to a multiplicity of determinants present on the same protein. These data support the concept of antibody-induced regulation by the induction of suppressor cells through idiotype recognition.

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