Histoincompatible bone marrow allografts were established in lethally irradiated rats. At various times after transplantation, the spleen cells were harvested, subjected to mixed lymphocyte cultures, and assayed for suppressor cells in vitro and in vivo by adoptive transfer studies. Alloantigen-nonspecific suppressor cells appeared in the chimera at 40 days after grafting, coinciding with the resolution of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). At 250 days the nonspecific suppressor cells were replaced by suppressor cells specifically suppressing donor-versus-host alloantigen responses. At 720 days suppressor cells could no longer be identified by in vitro methods but were identified by in vivo adoptive transfer of transplantation tolerance. After injection of host-type antigen into chimeras, the suppressor cells could be again demonstrated by in vitro methods.
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