Protection against experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) was induced in susceptible mice of (SJL/J × BALB/c)F1 hybrid, by injection of either mouse spinal cord homogenate, the small mouse basic protein, or Cop 1 in incomplete Freund's adjuvant, before EAE induction. It was demonstrated that the unresponsiveness induced by the three antigens is mediated by suppressor T cells residing in the spleen cell population and can be adoptively transferred to normal syngeneic recipients. Low dose of cyclophosphamide (20 mg/kg) administered 2 days before the encephalitogenic challenge abrogated the unresponsiveness to EAE and reverted the protected mice sensitive to disease induction. Cyclophosphamide was also active on adoptively transferred unresponsiveness, thus donors that had been treated with cyclophosphamide were unable to further transfer unresponsiveness to EAE. These results indicate the elimination by cyclophosphamide of suppressor cells that interfere with the effector mechanisms leading to EAE.

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