Antigen-binding B and T cells from chicken spleens were selected on plates of antigen-derived gelatin. Hapten-specific B cells from DNP-immune normal chicken spleens were selected on DNP-gelatin. As much as 165-fold functional enrichment of precursors of anti-DNP antibody-producing cells, as measured in an adoptive transfer system, was achieved. However, the enrichment of DNP-binding cells assessed by rosette formation and autoradiography was no more than 25-fold. HGG-specific T cells from bursectomized agammaglobulinemic chickens immunized with deaggregated HGG were selected on HGG-gelatin. In the fraction adherent to HGG-gelatin, at least a 20-fold enrichment of suppressors of the antibody response to TNP-HGG, as measured by adoptive transfer, was accomplished. In contrast, no more than 6-fold enrichment of HGG-binding cells was detected by autoradiography. Antigen-specific depletion and enrichment of suppressor T cells and of HGG-binding cells occurred in parallel, suggesting that suppressor cells can bind soluble antigen and can be isolated on antigen coupled to a solid support.

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This work was supported by National Cancer Institute Grant CA-08748 and American Cancer Society Grant IM-28E.

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