Suppression of in vitro cytotoxic lymphocyte (CL) responses was mediated by soluble factor(s) produced when in vivo alloantigen-activated suppressor cells were re-exposed to alloantigen in vitro. Elaboration of suppressor factor (SF) was T cell dependent and was optimal 7 days after alloantigen injection. Suppressor factor failed to inhibit CL generation when alloantigen-primed cells rather than normal spleen cells were used as responders. Moreover, SF added at day 3 of incubation rather than at culture initiation was also ineffective, suggesting that suppression probably occurs during antigen induction or early differentiation. Additionally, suppression was abrogated by the presence of 2-mercaptoethanol. Studies combining SF and CL responder cells from a variety of H-2 disparate mouse strains revealed that suppression of CL responses: 1) was not alloantigen specific; 2) did not require H-2 homology between responder and suppressor strains; and 3) could not be demonstrated with CBA/J mice. Although CBA/J CL responses were not suppressed by any SF preparation, allo-sensitized CBA/J spleen cells did elaborate SF that inhibited BALB/c CL responses.

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This work was supported by United States Public Health Service Research Grant AI-13810. Computational assistance was provided by the CLINFO Core Facility, United States Public Health Service Research Grant RR-00350.

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