The isolation of clonal lines of murine sarcoma virus-transformed, non-producer BALB/3T3 cells has provided a model system for determining whether RNA tumor virus-transformed cells possess virus-specific transplantation antigens. MSV nonproducer cells (K-234) were clonally derived from an inbred mouse cell line, BALB/3T3. A parallel virus-producing cell line was obtained by infection of the MSV nonproducer cells with Rauscher leukemia virus. K-234 was much more tumorigenic than K-234(R). Preimmunization of syngeneic mice with either K-234(R) or with UV-inactivated Rauscher leukemia virus induced transplantation resistance to subsequent challenge with K-234(R), but not with K-234. In contrast, mice preimmunized with nonproducer cells were not made resistant to subsequent challenge with the homologous cells. Antisera prepared from mice immunized with K-234(R) were specifically cytotoxic and positive by fluorescent antibody staining for K-234(R) target cells, but not to either BALB/3T3 or K-234. The results show that MSV nonproducer cells lack detectable transplantation antigens and suggest that the transplantation resistance to the producing cells is attributable to maturing virus at the cell surface.

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