Regulatory T cells are known to play a role in the termination of the immune response. In this investigation, we bring evidence in support of the induction of antigen-specific regulatory cells in the thymus of the mouse. These thymus-derived regulatory cells depend upon injection with a high dose of antigen for their induction, appear in the thymus early after primary immunization (Days 7-12), are H-2- and strain-restricted in their action, and can by themselves suppress directly the secretion of antibodies from syngeneic antibody-forming cells in vitro. These regulatory cells, therefore, differ from previously reported murine suppressor T cells which exert their effect on antibody formation indirectly, generally by acting on helper T cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas