Tetanus toxoid immunization of humans generates circulating B cells which secrete IgG anti-tetanus toxoid antibodies (IgG-Tet) when stimulated in vitro with T cells and pokeweed mitogen (PWM). A unique property of these cells is the inhibition of maturation into antibody-secreting plasma cells following a 1-hr in vitro pulse with tetanus toxoid. Studies were undertaken to determine if different T-cell subsets could modulate the in vitro generated B-cell unresponsive state. The addition of OKT4+/OKT8- cells to antigen-treated B cells resulted in a partial reversal of the antigen-induced inhibition of IgG-Tet synthesis. The addition of OKT4-/OKT8+ cells to the treated B cells caused a suppression of IgG-Tet synthesis comparable to that seen in cultures containing unfractionated T cells. These results indicate that (1) the B-cell unresponsive state generated by antigen treatment is not absolute, (2) the degree of B-cell unresponsiveness results from a balance of suppressor and helper signals, and (3) T-suppressor cells need to be present to induce and maintain the B-cell unresponsive state. © 1983 Plenum Publishing Corporation.