Murine graft versus host (GVH) disease takes two forms depending upon the parental/F1 strain combination employed. Acute lethal GVH disease is characterized by anemia, lymphopenia, hypogammaglobulinemia, profound anti-F1 cytotoxicity, and the loss of cytotoxic potential against third-party alloantigen. In contrast to this, chronic GVH disease is characterized by polyclonal B cell activation, autoantibody production, no anti-F1 cytotoxicity, and retained cytotoxicity against allotargets. We have previously reported that this marked disparity in disease expression results from a radiosensitive host cell which protects the F1 mouse from parental anti-F1 CTX in mice undergoing CGVH disease. Using an in vitro system to induce the host protective cell, we now demonstrate that two distinct Thy-1+ cells emerge which regulate CTX against the host. One cell is of host origin, radiation sensitive, and functionally resembles a veto cell. The second regulatory cell, of parental origin, is radiation resistant and restricted in its ability to suppress anti-F1 CTX. We further demonstrate that the emergence of these cells is modulated by competitive immunoregulatory influences mediated by T contrasuppressor and I-J+ cells.
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