The suppressive effect of antigen-conjugated muramylpeptides or 6-O-mycoloyl muramylpeptides selectively on the induction of IgE antibody response was demonstrated. Preadministration of DNP-mycoloyl muramylpeptides completely inhibited the induction of the anti-DNP IgE antibody response with DNP-ovalbumin (DNP-OA). The selective suppression of the IgE response was due to the induction of DNP-specific suppressor T cells by DNP-mycoloyl muramylpeptides, and the suppressor cells were shown to be radiosensitive. Preadministration of OA-conjugated muramylpeptides partially inhibited the primary and secondary induction of an anti-OA IgE antibody response. The suppressor effect was also due to the induction of OA-specific suppressor T cells. Application of allergen-conjugated muramylpeptides as therapeutic agents in human allergic diseases was suggested.

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This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for immunologic research from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Japan.

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