Random-bred Swiss mice were selectively bred for 16 generations; selection was based on their agglutinin response to sheep and pigeon erythrocytes to produce a high and a low responder line.
The serum levels of individual immunoglobulins differed significantly in these two lines before immunization. The differences in the levels of immunoglobulins were much more marked after immunization with pigeon or sheep erythrocytes. Greater differences between the two lines were noted in IgM and IgG levels than in IgA.
Another remarkable finding was the presence of different immunoglobulin phenotypes in the two lines. The high responders were homozygous or heterozygous for heavy-chain linkage groups found separately in the prototype BALB/c and C57BL inbred strains. The low responders were homozygous for a heavy-chain linkage group not present in bred mice in the United States, but observed as a recombinant type among wild mice probably representing a crossover between the heavy-chain linkage groups of the prototype DBA/2 and NH inbred mice.