Single cells were prepared from mouse tail epidermis by a method which gives high viability counts and so permits their use in cytotoxicity tests.
According to tests with standard alloantisera, the antigen phenotype of mouse epidermal cells is H-2+θ+Sk+H-Y+TL-Ly-A-Ly-B,C-PC-.
The skin differentiation alloantigen Sk, which is responsible for homograft reactions directed selectively against skin, is expressed also on brain, but not on other cell types; it is present on the transplanted neuroblastoma C1300. Cytotoxicity tests with epidermal cells of H-2 congenic mouse stocks confirm that the Sk locus is not closely linked to H-2.
The lymphoid cell differentiation antigen θ also is present on both epidermal cells and brain. Mice frequently retain θ-incompatible or Sk-incompatible skin grafts although they have formed substantial titers of θ or Sk antibody in response to grafting.
Male (H-Y) antigen is demonstrable on epidermal cells by cytotoxicity tests with H-Y antibody, as it is also on one other type of cell, spermatozoa.