Patients with intractable rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were treated with total lymphoid irradiation (TLI, 2000 rad). We previously reported long-lasting clinical improvement in this group associated with a persistent decrease in circulating Leu-3 (helper subset ) T cells and marked impairment of in vitro lymphocyte function. In the present experiments, we studied the mechanisms underlying the decrease in pokeweed mitogen stimulated immunoglobulin (Ig) secretion observed after TLI. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBL) from TLI-treated patients produced 10-fold less Ig (both IgM and IgG) in response to pokeweed mitogen than before radiotherapy. This decrease in Ig production was associated with the presence of suppressor cells in co-culture studies. By using responder cells obtained from normal individuals (allogeneic system), PBL from eight of 12 patients after TLI suppressed Ig synthesis by more than 50%. In contrast, PBL from the same patients before TLI failed to suppress Ig synthesis. Suppression by post-TLI PBL was also demonstrated in an autologous system by using responder cells cryopreserved before TLI. Again, only cells obtained after TLI were suppressive in four of seven patients. PBL with suppressive activity contained suppressor T cells, and the latter cells bore the Leu-2 surface antigen. In 50% of the patients studied, suppressor cells were also found in the non-T fraction and were adherent to plastic. Interestingly, the Leu-2+ cells from TLI-treated patients were no more potent on a cell per cell basis than purified Leu-2+ cells obtained before TLI. Additional experiments suggested that the suppression mediated by T cells after TLI is related to the increased ratio of Leu-2 to Leu-3 cells observed after radiotherapy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - 1984|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy