Mechanisms of immunologic tolerance affecting antibody responses include conditions extrinsic to the B cell such as dominant suppression by T cells (1), regulation by anti-idiotype (2), and tolerance in T helper cell populations (3). But tolerance can also result from changes in the antigen-reactive B cells such as their deletion (4), or that mysterious process by which they become "intrinsically tolerant", i.e., refractory to stimulation (5). One approach to learning more about the mechanism of intrinsic tolerance at the level of cell physiology is to determine which of the activation events that normally follow antigen contact occur or fail to occur in such cells. An established model of intrinsic B cell tolerance previously exploited in such studies in the trinitrophenyl (TNP)-self-induced tolerance model of Fidler and Golub (6). Having established that BDF1 mice injected with 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) become tolerant to TNP, they showed by appropriate transfer experiments that the tolerance could be not induce antibody to TNP in such mice (8). cells (7). They also showed that lipopolysaccharide could not induce antibody to TNP in such mice (8). Together, these data indicated that in this example, tolerance is intrinsic to the B cells. B cells with receptors for TNP remain in these mice (9), providing an opportunity to study activation events in intrinsically tolerant B cells. This paper is part of an ongoing series of studies of activation events in TNP-antibody-binding cells (ABC)2 using this tolerance model (9-11). It shows that a TNP-antigen that normally induces rapid loss of antigen receptors on TNP-ABC cannot do so in mice rendered tolerant to TNP.

This content is only available via PDF.