Rabbit anti-idiotypic antibodies were prepared by injection of specifically purified anti-p-azobenzoate antibodies (D) from individual donor rabbits. Benzoate derivatives were found to be strong inhibitors of the reactions of D with anti-D antisera. There was a close correlation between the combining affinities of the benzoate derivatives used and their effectiveness as inhibitors. Compounds tested that are chemically unrelated to benzoate were ineffective. The results indicate either that the combining site of anti-benzoate antibody is part of an important idiotypic determinant, which is sterically blocked by hapten, or that the hapten induces a conformational change which alters idiotypic determinants not involving the active site. Such conformational changes, if they occur, must be restricted since hapten has little effect on the reactions of F(ab')2 fragments of anti-benzoate antibodies with antisera directed to rabbit fragment Fab and no detectable effect on reactions with antibodies directed to allotypic determinants.

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