Con A-activated cells from old NZB mice were found capable of inhibiting the polyclonal response of cells from young NZB and BALB/c animals. Furthermore, Con A-preactivated spleen cells from young NZB and BALB/c mice did not significantly affect the response of spleen cells from old NZB mice. These results suggest that the defective suppressive activity in old NZB mice may be traced to a defect at the B cell level.

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This work was supported by grants from the Ludovisi Boncompagni Foundation, the O.E. and Edia Johansson's Foundation, and Walter, Ellen and Lennart Hesselman's Foundation.

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