Specific immune unresponsiveness was induced in inbred mice (BDF1) by the administration of soluble ovalbumin (OVA) by gastric intubation. Anti-hapten (DNP) responses likewise were specifically diminished when animals were fed autologous carrier (OVA or keyhole limpet hemocyanin). Adoptive transfer of spleen cells demonstrated that the tolerant state could be maintained in irradiated recipient mice, and specific anergy could be transferred to normal recipient animals. Adoptive suppression was mediated by T lymphocytes, as demonstrated by nylon wool fractionation and susceptibility of the cells to anti-Thy 1.2 and complement. Transferred B cells had neither suppressive nor augmentative effects. Enteric administration of OVA also specifically diminished antigen-induced DNA synthesis of primed lymph node T cells, although suppressor cells were not identified in the lymph nodes per se.

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Supported by United States Public Health Service Grant AI 13131.

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