Relationship of IJ to suppressor T cells

By utilizing a number of recombinant mouse strains, anti-I-J alloantisera which recognize many of the I-J

alleles have been generated successfully. A number of monoclonal antibodies against I-J have been generated as well. It has been the experience of numerous investigators that these antibodies react with antigen-specific suppressor T cells. Many of these cells are capable of secreting factors which are themselves suppressive. The I-J-specific antibodies also appear to react with an epitope present as a part of certain of these suppressor cell factors. The relationship of the membrane and secreted forms of the I-J-bearing molecules remains unclear.

The actual function of the I-J molecule is uncertain but may be related to the interaction of the individual suppressor cell populations. It has been found, in certain cases, that the functional activity of suppressor cells (and suppressor factors) is restricted at the I-J locus. This is additional evidence of the significance of the I-J gene product in the function of these regulatory cells. In addition, this suggests the possibility that the target cell population for the I-J-bearing suppressor factor must bear an I-J allele-specific binding structure for the factor.

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