The kinetics of antibody formation after immunization with the synthetic polypeptide poly-L(Tyr, Glu)-poly-D, L-Ala--poly-L-Lys [(T, G)-A--L] in aqueous solution were studied in genetically high (H-2b) and low (H-2k) responder strains of mice. During the 1st wk after immunization both strains developed brisk primary responses consisting of IgM antibody. With subsequent antigen challenge, only the high responder mice showed immunological memory, producing high titers of IgG antibody. In contrast, the low responder mice continued to make a persistent low level of IgM antibody and appeared unreactive to secondary or tertiary antigen challenge. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the immune response-1 gene [controlling response to (T, G)-A--L] exerts its effect on the immune response at the time of switchover from IgM to IgG antibody production.

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