Suppressor cells, which in an alloantigen-specific manner inhibit proliferation of donor cells to host antigens in a mixed lymphocyte culture and adoptively transfer the suppression of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), undergo a gradual clonal reduction in long-term, allogeneic, histoincompatible rat radiation chimeras until they can no longer be measured in an in vitro suppressor cell assay. When lymphohematopoietic cells from these chimeras are transferred into lethally irradiated secondary recipients of original donor strain, the suppressor cells, now in a target antigen-free environment, undergo a further clonal reduction. After “parking” for 120 days, the chimeric cells are specifically tolerant to original host antigens, but cannot adoptively transfer suppression of GVHD. When chimeric cells, parked for 120 days in secondary recipients of original donor strain, are stimulated with original host-type antigen repeatedly during or once at the end of the parking period, the suppressor cell clone is expanded, suppressor cells can be identified in vitro, and suppression of GVHD can adoptively be transferred to tertiary recipients.
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