Mice infected with the parasite Mesocestoides corti produce a vigorous antibody response that is restricted to the IgM and IgG1 heavy chain classes. The isotypic restriction observed is apparently associated with active infection and is not a unique characteristic of responses to M. corti antigens. Thus, animals immunized with intact but nonviable parasites respond with the production of a variety of antibody isotypes in addition to IgM and IgG1. To delineate immunoregulatory mechanisms involved in the isotypic restriction of antibody responses to M. corti, an in vitro lymphocyte suspension culture was established. The data indicate that there are two cell subsets in the spleens of infected mice that contribute to an overall suppression of the in vitro antibody response. Thus, both Lyt-2+ cells and G-10-adherent cells must be removed to maximize antibody production. However, the anti-parasite response obtained in vitro after depletion of Lyt-2+ cells and G-10-adherent cells is restricted to the IgM and IgG1 isotypes as observed in vivo, indicating that suppression is not actively involved in the IgM, IgG1 dominance of the response. The cellular regulation associated with this restriction was then studied by using isolated helper T cells derived from parasite-infected animals to stimulate B cells from uninfected animals. The antibody produced was again restricted to IgM and IgG1, indicating that the helper T cells were regulating the preferential expression of the IgM and IgG1 antibody classes.

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