Waldmann, Katherine S. National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland.
Waldmann, Thomas A. Metabolism Branch, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland.
Turk, J. L. Department of Pathology, Royal College of Surgeons of England, London, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Suppressor cells
- Regulation of normal immune response
- Mechanisms of suppressor cell action
- Disorders of suppressor cell regulation
- Drug-induced immunosuppression
- Drug-induced immunological tolerance
- Drug-induced potentiation of immune response
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The natural or induced active suppression of the immune response, as contrasted with deficiency or absence of components of the immune system. Like many other complex biological processes, the immune response is controlled by a series of regulatory factors. A variety of suppressor cells play a role in essentially all of the known immunoregulatory mechanisms, such as maintenance of immunological tolerance; limitation of antibody response to antigens of both thymic-dependent and thymic-independent types, as well as to antigens that stimulate reaginic antibody (antibodies involved in allergic reactions); genetic control of the immune response; idiotype suppression; control of contact and delayed hypersensitivity; and antigenic competition. All of the major cell types [macrophages (monocytes), bone marrow–derived lymphocytes that normally mature into antibody-producing cells (B cells), and especially thymus-derived lymphocytes (T cells)] involved in the positive side of cellular interactions required for an immune response have also been found capable of functioning as suppressors in different regulatory systems. See also: Immunological deficiency
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