Persistence of antigen binding cells with surface tolerogen: isologous versus heterologous immunoglobulin carriers

M. Venkataraman, M. Aldo Benson, Y. Borel, D. W. Scott

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28 Scopus citations


Adult mice injected intravenously with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FL) conjugated to an isologous carrier (mouse IgG2a)(FL-MGG) or to a heterologous carrier (sheep γ-globulins)(FL-SGG) are rendered specifically unresponsive to the FL-hapten. Tolerance induced by either tolerogen persists upon adoptive transfer. Since cells with tolerogen on their surface are detectable by immunofluorescence in both experimental situations, we compared the persistence of such cells in the spleens of mice injected with either tolerogen or with an immunogen (FL-KLH). FL-binding cells were seen during the first 5 days after the injection of FL-SGG, but were undetectable by day 7 and thereafter. In contrast, fluorescent cells were detectable up to 20 to 30 days in some animals after FL-MGG, although the number decreased after day 11. FL-binding cells decreased significantly after day 1 in FL-KLH-injected mice. When the number of FL-binding cells in tolerant animals had reached baseline levels, the animals were reinjected with their respective tolerogen. Normal or slightly increased numbers of FL-binding cells were found in the spleens of FL-SGG injected mice, whereas decreased numbers were observed in the spleen of FL-MGG injected mice. This suggests that in tolerance induced by heterologous carrier, specific lymphocytes possess free receptors but cannot respond. On the other hand, with the isologous carrier-induced tolerance, free receptors are either not available (modulated?) or blocked with undetectable amounts of tolerogen. Whether this difference in the kinetics represents a difference in the mechanism of tolerance is unknown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1006-1009
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1977
Externally publishedYes


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