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Evidence for a regulatory idiotypic network in the in vivo response to H-2 antigens.


Treatment of BALB/c mice with purified pig antiidiotype to 11-4.1 (anti-H-2Kk) monoclonal antibody has been found previously to induce the appearance of idiotype-bearing molecules (Id') in the serum of these mice, in the absence of detectable antigen-binding activity. In the present study we examined the effect of subsequent immunization of such antiidiotype-primed mice with the original H-2Kk antigen. Skin grafting of virgin BALB/c mice with BALB.K skin did not generate any detectable Id' antibodies when tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In contrast, grafting of antiidiotype-primed mice with BALB.K skin specifically boosted ther serum level of Id' molecules. Challenge of antiidiotype-primed mice with either B10.D2 or rat skin had no effect on the production of such Id' molecules. Absorption studies demonstrated that the majority of Id' molecules induced by H-2Kk antigenic stimulus and detected in ELISA are antigen-nonbinding molecules, thus indicating specific restimulation by the original H-2Kk antigen of nonbinding idiotype-positive B cell clones. The relevance of these findings to the existence of network interactions in the immune response to H-2 antigens is discussed.

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