• antigen-specific suppression of DNCB-allergy;
  • deletion of T-cell clone by radio-labelled DNCB;
  • antigen-specific suppression of delayed immune reaction

With the aid of epicutaneous application of 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene (DNCB) solution in acetone, we induced a cutaneous allergic reaction of the delayed type. Our question was whether the development of the DNCB cutaneous sensitivity could be suppressed by highly radiolabelled DNCB. On the basis of the clonal selection theory and our own results with other in vivo-experimental animal models, one could suppose that the highly radiolabelled DNCB as haptens binds to the Ig-membrane receptors of the genetically determined T-lymphocyte clone, and that the conjugated radioactivity (125I) causes a selective radioactive damage to this competent T-lymphocyte subpopulation. By means of intracardially applied radiolabelled DNCB, we are able to induce either complete or very significant suppression of the cutaneous DNCB immune response. In the second experiment, the highly radiolabelled DNCB was not able to inhibit sensitization to a simultaneously applied 4-ethoxy-methylene-2-phenyl-oxazolone (oxazolone). This result clearly demonstrates the antigen specificity of this form of immune suppression.