Active suppression of host-vs graft reaction in pregnant mice. IX. Soluble suppressor activity obtained from allopregnant mouse decidua that blocks the cytolytic effector response to IL-2 is related to transforming growth factor-beta.
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Non-Ts cells in murine allopregnancy decidua release potent immunosuppressor factors in vitro that block the action of IL-2. Previous studies have shown that both primary and secondary CTL responses are inhibited as well as the generation of Il-2 activated killer cells. In this paper we show that the suppressor factor(s) can arrest ongoing IL-2 dependent CTL responses but does not block binding of anti-IL-2R antibody or radiolabeled IL-2 to the IL-2R. The suppressive activity is associated with molecules that adhere to hydroxylapatite and con A-agarose but do not bind to activated charcoal or partition as lipids. HPLC TSK 3000 separation showed a major peak of suppressive activity at 60 to 100 kDa, with additional activity at 300 kDa, and at less than 1000. Under acid conditions, suppressive activity resolved as a major peak at 13 kDa with some residual activity at 65 kDa and at less than or equal to 1000. A specific rabbit IgG antibody to transforming growth factor-beta neutralized suppressor activity in unseparated supernatant and in the 13-kDa fraction whereas neutralizing antibodies to progesterone or PGE-2 did not affect suppression but could neutralize their respective ligands. Inasmuch as transforming growth factor-beta has a 25 kDa Mr, the 13-kDa decidua-associated suppressor factor would appear to represent a related but distinct regulatory molecule that associates with a variety of carrier molecules.
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