In this study, we tried to get information about the fine antigen-binding ability of purified, soluble, idiotype-positive T-cell receptor molecules. Lewis anti-DA T-cell receptors were purified from normal Lewis serum by the use of anti-idiotypic immunosorbent and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel, and were coupled to cyanogen bromide-activated Sepharose 4B. In parallel, Lewis anti-DA, Lewis anti-BN, and DA anti-Lewis alloantibody immunosorbents were prepared. The major Ag-B chain (44,000 daltons) and the two polypeptide chains (34,000 and 27,000 daltons) of Ia were purified from Lewis, DA, and BN lymphocytes and absorbent on the above-mentioned immunosorbents. We found that the major Ag-B chain as well as the two Ia chains were bound to the alloantibody columns if they were derived from the corresponding allogeneic strain. No retaining ability for self-major histocompatibility complex (MHC) or third-party MHC chains was noted with the alloantibody immunosorbents. When using immunosorbents made up of idiotypic T-cell receptors, only two MHC polypeptides of the relevant allo-MHC type were retained, namely, the Ag-B and the heavy Ia chains. No detectable activity was observed when testing the same column for reactivity against third-party MHC polypeptide chains. However, the Lewis anti-DA T-cell receptors could be shown to display weak, but significant, reactivity toward one Lewis MHC polypeptide chain, that is, the heavy chain of Ia type.

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