The role of thymus-derived lymphocytes (T cells) in LPS modulation of T cell-dependent antibody responses has been investigated. We have assessed the effect of LPS on the primary anti-TNP response to TNP-SRBC of cultures of whole spleen cells or T cell-depleted spleen cells that were supplemented with various subpopulations of carrier-primed (SRBC) spleen cells. The TNP-PFC response was enhanced in the presence of irradiated SRBC-primed spleen cells by addition of 0.16 to 20 µg/ml LPS, but inhibition was observed when irradiation of primed cells was omitted. Enhancement but no inhibition occurred when added primed cells were first passed through a nylon wool column. LPS-mediated enhancement was dependent on a T cell in the primed population. These results suggest that LPS modulation of antibody synthesis is dependent on two populations of antigen-specific cells that have opposing effects on B cell responses to a T-dependent antigen: a helper cell that is irradiation resistant, nonadherent to nylon wool, and sensitive to anti-T cell serum, and a suppressor cell that is irradiation sensitive and adherent to nylon wool.

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This work was supported by United States Public Health Service Grant CA20078.

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