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Production of an H–2-related suppressor factor by a hybrid T-cell line

Naturevolume 277pages305308 (1979) | Download Citation



CELL FUSION has been used to study problems in genetics, neoplasia and virology1. Its application to immunology was initiated by the experiments of Köhler and Milstein2, in which it was shown that a myeloma cell (a neoplastic B cell) could be fused with a normal antibody-producing B cell, and that the hybrids continued to secrete the specific antibody of the latter and grew as permanent lines. This type of fusion has since been used to produce homogeneous antibodies to a variety of antigens3,4. The same principle can also be applied to T cells, with the aim of producing T-hybrid lines with characteristic T-cell functions, such as cytotoxicity or the ability to help or suppress the responses of other lymphocytes. Recently, fusion of T cells with T-lymphoma cells has been described, leading to the establishment of lines carrying markers characteristic of the normal T-cell partner5–7, and some lines with T-cell activities have been reported8,9. We describe here the production of a hybrid line which exhibits a characteristic T-cell function, namely, specific suppression of the antibody response. The hybrid cells produce a suppressor molecule or ‘factor’ which binds to an antigen, sheep red blood cells (SRBC), and specifically suppresses the antibody response to this antigen in vitro. The factor is non-immunoglobulin, but carries determinants of the H–2 complex.

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  1. Department of Immunology, ARC Institute of Animal Physiology, Babraham, Cambridge, UK

    • M. J. TAUSSIG
    • , J. R. F. CORVALÁN
    • , R. M. BINNS
    •  & A. HOLLIMAN


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