Antibodies to hapten 2-phenyloxazolone (phOx) of all BALB/c and DBA/2 mice have the same idiotype and the same major (public) isoelectric focusing pattern whose main spectrotype is called Ox-1. Neither of these characteristics could be readily demonstrated in anti-phOx antibodies of C57BL, C3H or LP mice; these antibodies were heterogeneous, and lacked public spectrotypes. Also, a fine specificty difference could be demonstrated between anti-phOx antibodies of BALB/c and C5MBL mice; the latter have a higher relative affinity than the former for a structural analogue of phOx (2-o-iodophenyloxazolone). The three BALB/c characteristics were inherited in congenic and recombinant inbred strains as an allotype-linked block, defining a new VH marker, VHphOx. Murine anti-phOx antibodies were found to exhibit three types of conservatism: (a) Every individual mouse of strains BALB/c, DBA/2 or BAB-14 had an almost indistinguishable IEF pattern. (b) These patterns (and the cross-reactive idiotype) remained virtually unchanged during an immunization course of 70 days. (c) An identical idiotype (and in some cases IEF pattern) was present in mouse strains of five different allogroups.

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