Quantitative Estimates of Diversity, Degeneracy, and Connectivity in an Idiotypic Network among T Cells

  • K. Fey
  • M. M. Simon
  • I. Melchers
  • K. Eichmann


We have previously described a series of limiting dilution experiments in which several T-cell types of a number of different antigenic specificties were analyzed(1–5) In these studies, we obtained data on the precursor frequencies of antigen-recognizing T-helper cells, antigen-recognizing cytotoxic T cells, and of suppressor T cells that regulate their differentiation and expression as functional effector cells (reviewed in Ref. 5). Thus, these experiments not only provided information on T-cell precursor frequencies in normal and immunized mice but also on their regulation by suppression.(5,6) The quantitative and qualitative data obtained in these experiments strongly suggest that a suppressive network exists among normal T cells, and the data can be used to generate estimates on the diversity and degeneracy of receptors as well as on the connectivity in such a network.


Response Mode Suppressor Cell Canonical Partition Function Virgin State Precursor Frequency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Eichmann, K., Falk, I., Melchers, I., and Simon, M. M., 1980, Quantitative studies on T cell diversity. I. Determination of the precursor frequencies of two types of streptococcus A-specific helper cells in nonimmune, polyclonally activated splenic T cells, J. Exp. Med. 152:477.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Goronzy, J., Schafer, U., Eichmann, K., and Simon, M. M., 1981, Quantitative studies on T cell diversity. II. Determination of the frequencies and Lyt phenotypes of two types of precursor cells for alloreactive cytotoxic T cells in polyclonally and specifically activated splenic T cells, J. Exp. Med. 153:857.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Melchers, I., Fey, K., and Eichmann, K., 1982, Quantitative studies on T cell diversity. III. Limiting dilution analysis of precursor cells for T helper cells reactive to xenogeneic red blood cells, J. Exp. Med. 156:1587.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Eichmann, K., Goronzy, J., Hamann, U., Krammer, P. H., Kuppers, R., Melchers, I., Simon, M. M., and Zahn, G., 1982, Clonal analysis of helper and cytolytic T cells: Multiple independently regulated precursor sets at frequencies suggesting a limited repertoire, in:Isolation, Characterization and Utilization of T Lymphocyte Clones (C. G. Fathman and F. W. Fitch, eds.), Academic Press, New York, p. 233.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Eichmann, K., Fey, K., Kuppers, R., Melchers, I., Simon, M. M., and Weltzien, H. U., 1983, Network regulation among T cells: Conclusions from limiting dilution experiments, Springer Semin. Immunopathol. 6:7–32.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Fey, K., Melchers, I., and Eichmann, K., 1983, Quantitative studies on T cell diversity. IV. Mathematical analysis of multiple limiting populations of effector and suppressor T cells, J. Exp. Med. 158:40–52.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hamann, U., Eichmann, K., and Krammer, P. H., 1983, Frequencies and regulation of trinitrophenylspecific cytotoxic T precursor cells: Immunization results in release from suppression, J. Immunol. 130:7.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Weyand, C., Goronzy, J., and Hämmerling, G., 1981, Recognition of polymorphic H-2 domains by T lymphocytes. I. Functional role of different H-2 domains for the generation of alloreactive cytotoxic T lymphocytes and determination of precursor frequencies, J. Exp. Med. 154:1717.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hoffmann, G. W., 1975, A theory of regulation and self-non-self discrimination in an immune network, Eur. J. Immunol. 5:638.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hoffmann, G., 1982, The application of stability criteria in evaluating network regulation models, in:Oscillatory Dynamics in the Immune Response (C. DeLisi and J. Hiernaux, eds.), CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla., pp. 137–162.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Landau, L. D., and Lifschitz, E. M., 1966, Theoretische Pysik V, Akademie Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Huang, K., 1966, Statistical Mechanics, Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Becker, R., 1966, Theorie der Wärme, Springer-Verlag, Berlin.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Fey
    • 1
  • M. M. Simon
    • 1
  • I. Melchers
    • 1
  • K. Eichmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for ImmunobiologyFreiburgFederal Republic of Germany

Personalised recommendations