The use of monospecific antisera for the analysis by radioimmunoassay and immunofluorescence study of two major viral proteins, gp69/71 and p30 of murine leukemia virus, that could be of significance in the pathogenesis of immune complex glomerulonephritis of mice, particularly NZB and B/WF1 hybrid mice, yielded the following conclusions. A remarkably high concentration of viral envelope glycoprotein, gp69/71, was detected in the spleen and serum of New Zealand mice (NZB, NZW, B/WF1, and W/BF1); the concentration in the spleen was 10-fold greater than that found in AKR mice and 30-fold greater than that present in C57BL/6 mice. The gp69/71 was deposited along with bound immunoglobulins, apparently as an immune complex, in the diseased kidneys of mice, and the glomerular site and extent of deposition of gp69/71 was related to the severity of the glomerulonephritis. This study suggests that the pathogenesis of immune complex glomerulonephritis (and vasculitis) in mice is related to the expression of this specific viral envelope glycoprotein and to the host immune response to this protein.

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