After challenge with guiena pig basic protein (GPBP) Lewis (Le) rats, which are homozygous for the immune response experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (Ir-EAE) gene, developed positive delayed skin tests against GPBP and the 43 residue encephalitogenic fragment (EF); in addition, Le rat lymph node cells (LNC) were stimulated and produced migration inhibitory factor (MIF) when incubated in vitro with these antigens. In contrast Brown Norway (BN) rats, which lack the Ir-EAE gene, did not develop delayed skin tests to EF and their LNC were not stimulated and did not produce MIF when incubated in vitro with EF. These observations indicate that the Ir-EAE gene controls a T-cell response against the EF. Le rats produced measurable anti-BP antibody by radioimmunoassay after primary challenge. Although no antibody was detectable in BN rats by radioimmunoassay, radioimmunoelectrophoresis indicated that a small amount of antibody was formed after primary immunization. After boosting intraperitoneally, both strains of rat exhibited a rise in anti-BP antibody; which was greater in Le rats. In both strains of rat the anti-BP antibody reacted with a portion of the molecule other than the EF. Since EF primarily evokes a T cell response, it is suggested that the EF portion of the BP molecule may contain a helper determinant in antibody production.

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