This paper derives from the unexpected observations of the "wrong immunoglobulin allotype" in a congenic partner strain of BALB/c mice from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR CB-17). These mice were specially bred so as not to differ from BALB/c mice in any known way except to carry immunoglobulin structural genes of the C57BL/Ka allotype. In this respect, ICR CB-17 mice were defined as allotypically homozygous according to the Mendelian inheritance of mouse allotype markers. The homozygosity of these mice was challenged, however, when in certain instances immunoglobulins of the BALB/c allotype appeared in the serum of some ICR CB-17 mice. The appearance of this hidden allotype was usually transient and only associated with immunoglobulins of the IgG (IgG2a) class. The implications of these findings for the inheritance and expression of immunoglobulin structural genes are discussed.

This content is only available as a PDF.