Regulatory cells in human bone marrow: Suppression of an in vitro primary antibody response

  • Bains M
  • McGarry R
  • Singhal S
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Human bone marrow (BMC) contains regulatory cells that can suppress the in vitro primary PFC response of normal allogeneic spleen or tonsillar cells and autologous peripheral blood cells. Suppression is dependent upon the dose of BMC added, but is not due to cell crowding nor to excessive cytotoxicity, and requires the presence of viable, metabolically active BMC. BMC are maximally inhibitory when added during the first 24 hr of culture and do not cause an induced shift in the kinetics of the response. Thus, suppression reflects inhibition of early inductive events in the antibody response. The target of suppression is the non-T cell, with either polyclonal activator or Ag being required for maximal suppression. DNA synthesis of normal tonsillar cells is not inhibited by BMC. Characterization of the human bone marrow-suppressor cell has shown it to be radiosensitive, E-rosette negative, Fc receptor positive, and to reside in the large, weakly adherent cell population after velocity sedimentation and in the lymphocyte-depleted fraction after sucrose density gradient separation. Pretreatment of the bone marrow-suppressor cell with anti-human thymocyte serum does not abrogate suppression. We speculate on a possible physiologic role for this cell. © 1982.

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