An immunological suppressor cell inactivating cytotoxic T-lymphocyte precursor cells recognizing it

Nature. 1980 Oct 9;287(5782):544-6. doi: 10.1038/287544a0.


The immune system does not normally react against self components. Originally, it was postulated that self-reactive cells were somehow deleted or blocked. More recent thinking is that such cells are suppressed by regulatory networks similar to those limiting the immune response against non-self determinants. Both mechanisms may exist. I describe here a type of suppression more closely related to the first postulate. In the in vitro, one-way, mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR), cytotoxic T-lymphocyte precursor cells (CLP) from the responder population give rise to cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CL) capable of lysing target cells from the stimulator population. A subpopulation of cells in the spleen of athymic nude mice can, when added to such cultures, inactivate CLP capable of recognizing either the H-2 antigens or TNP modifications of the nude spleen. Regarding the nude spleen cells, activation of self-reactive cells is being prevented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic*
  • H-2 Antigens
  • Immune Tolerance*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude / immunology
  • Spleen / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology*
  • Trinitrobenzenes / immunology


  • H-2 Antigens
  • Trinitrobenzenes