Two BALB radiation leukemias are strongly rejected by hybrids of BALB with certain other mouse strains, although BALB mice themselves exhibit no detectable resistance whatever. Hybrids immunized with progressively increased inocula are resistant to 200 x 106 or more leukemia cells; their serum is cytotoxic for the leukemia cells in vitro and protects BALB mice against challenge with these BALB leukemias. The antigenic system thus identified has been named X.1.
In (BALB x B6) hybrids the major determinant of resistance was shown to be a B6 gene in the K region of H-2. This is likely to be the Rgv-1 (Resistance to gross virus) locus of Lilly, which may thus be identified in this case as an Ir (Immune response) allele conferring ability to respond to X.1 antigen on MuLV and leukemia cells, and so responsible for production of X.1 antibody and the rejection of X.1+ leukemia cells by hybrid mice.
Immunoelectron microscopy with X.1 antiserum (from immunized hybrids) shows labeling both on the cell surface and on virions produced by the leukemia cells. It is not known whether X.1 comprises only one or more than one antigen.
Three radiation-induced BALB leukemias, one A strain radiation-induced leukemia, and 15/15 AKR primary spontaneous leukemias were typed X.1+ by the cytotoxicity test. Several other leukemias, including one induced by passage A Gross virus and one long-transplanted AKR ascites leukemia carried in (B6 x AKR)F1 hybrids, were X.1-. Normal mice of strains with a high incidence of leukemia and one other strain (129) express X.1 antigen, but evidently in amounts too small for certain detection in vitro; by the method of absorption in vivo, however, these strains could be typed X.1+ and other strains X.1-.
We ascribe the X.1 antigen system tentatively to a sub-type of MuLV that is not passage A Gross virus and is probably not the dominant sub-type in strains with a high incidence of leukemia.
After repeated passage in hybrids, one of the BALB leukemias became relatively resistant to rejection by the hybrid, partially lost its sensitivity to X.1 antiserum in vitro, and in electron micrographs was seen to produce fewer virions.
The serum of untreated (BALB x B6) hybrids often contains cytotoxic antibody against leukemia cells, some of it probably anti-X.1. But another commonly occurring antibody, which is cytotoxic for C57BL leukemia EL4, appears to belong to another (undefined) system.