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Antigen specific helper and suppressor factors have a similar structure, with two major sections, a 'variable region', determining antigen specificity which is likely to be controlled by Immunoglobulin VH genes, with which it shares idiotype and framework determinants. Specific factors also have a 'constant region' which does not vary between strains and minimally between species or with the antigenic specificity of the factors, which are defined by rabbit anti-helper or anti-suppressor antisera. This region determines the biological function of the molecule. Anti-Ia antisera react with factors, but the nature and function of Ia molecules on T cell factors is still unclear. The model of specific factor structure, with C and V regions resembles that of immunoglobulin, and it is thus possible that the C region of factors, like the V region is Ig linked. Because there are multiple T cells, helping and suppressing antibody responses specifically, it seems improbable that all of these cells could interact directly with rare antigen-specific B cells. Thus we propose that macrophage presenting cells are the key to the integration of signals for immune induction and regulation for T and B cells. Since Ir genes have been identified in the macrophage presenting cells interacting with both T and B cells, this suggests that macrophage Ia antigens are of importance in the integration of triggering signals for the lymphoid pool.

Original publication




Journal article


Molecular and cellular biochemistry

Publication Date





177 - 193


B-Lymphocytes, T-Lymphocytes, Macrophages, Animals, Humans, Mice, Rats, Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell, Immunoglobulin Allotypes, Antigens, Surface, Epitopes, Immunosuppression, Lymphocyte Cooperation, Antibody Formation, Genes, MHC Class II, Molecular Weight