The ability of various B10 congenic resistant strains to respond to the alloantigen H-2.2 was tested. High and low antibody-producing strains were distinguished by their anti-H-2.2 hemagglutinating respones. However, these strains do not differ in their ability to respond to these antigenic differences in the mixed lymphocyte culture. The humoral response to the H-2.2 alloantigen was shown to be controlled by two interacting genes localized within the H-2 complex. Thus, F1 hybrids prepared between parental low responder strains could yield high level immune responses. In addition, strains bearing recombinant H-2 haplotypes were used to map the two distinct genes controlling the immune response. The alleles at each locus were shown to be highly polymorphic as evidenced by the asymmetric complementation patterns observed. The restricted interactions of specific alleles was termed coupled complementation. The significance of the results in the terms of mechanisms of Ir gene control are discussed.

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