The kinetics of IgE antibody response to alum-absorbed dinitrophenyl derivatives of ovalbumin (DNP-OA) was dependent on the dose of immunogen. A persistent IgE antibody response was obtained when high responder BDF1 mice were immunized with a minimum (0.05 µg) dose. An increase of the immunogen to 10 µg depressed IgE antibody responses but enhanced IgG antibody responses of both hapten and carrier specificities. Determination of T helper cell activity and B memory cells after immunization with different doses of antigen indicated that minimum immunogen was favorable for developing helper activity, whereas 1 to 10 µg immunogen were more favorable than a 0.05-µg dose for developing both IgE and IgG B memory cells. Nevertheless, neither helper T cells nor B memory cells in the spleen explains a transient IgE antibody response to a high (10 µg) dose of DNP-OA. Evidence was obtained that immunization with 10 µg OA induced generation of antigen-specific suppressor T cells, which were not detectable after immunization with 0.05 µg OA. Transfer of suppressor T cells to DNP-OA-primed mice depressed both anti-hapten and anti-carrier IgE antibody responses. The results suggested strongly that suppressor T cells are involved in a transient IgE antibody response to a high-dose immunogen.

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This work was supported by Research Grant AI 11202 from the United States Public Health Service and Grant 74056 from the John A. Hartford Foundation, Inc. This is publication No. 296 from the O'Neill Laboratories of the Good Samaritan Hospital.

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