These studies explore the extent of genetic polymorphism in the expression of anti-MHC receptors by T cells in different strains of rats. This question was approached with the use of the model of specifically induced GVH resistance in F1 rats which has been shown to reflect a specific T-cell mediated immune response against parental strain T cell anti-MHC receptors specific for host alloantigens. When A/B F1 rats derived from MHC incompatibile matings are immunized with lymphocytes from one parental strain (A they display a specific resistance to anti-B GVH reactivity caused by T cells from that parental strain, but not anti-AGVH reactions from the other. In addition, they resist anti-B GHV reactivity by T cells from third-party donors (C, D, E,...), a finding taken to indicate that the idiotypes of anti-MHC receptors on T cells, recognized by other T cells, show little or no polymorphism. This conclusion suggests that anti-MHC receptors are shared in the species and may be encoded, at least partially, by germ-line genes.

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