AKR mice were protected from lethal irradiation and established as long-lived chimeras by transplanting allogeneic C57BL/6 (B6) bone marrow that had been treated in vitro with anti-Thy-1 antiserum without complement. In these chimeras, which were designated [B6 {arrow} AKR], virtually all the thymus and spleen cells were shown to be derived from the B6 donor; several immune functions studied in these chimeras were as follows: (a) The chimeric mice were tolerant of histocompatibility antigens of both donor and recipient strain and nearly fully reactive to antigens of third party, as revealed by Simonsen's splenomegaly assay. The tolerance of these chimeras could not be attributed to suppressor cells but was compatible with clonal depletion. (b) Proliferative responses to concanavalin A, phytohemagglutinin, and lipopolysaccharide as well as natural killer and antibody-dependent cell- mediated cytotoxicity activity of the chimeric mice was normal. (c) Plaque- forming cell (PFC) assays of antibody responses to sheep erythrocytes (SRBC) showed gross deficiency in the primary response of the [B6 {arrow} AKR] and [AKR {arrow} B6] chimeras.

By contrast, [B6-H-2(k)(E(k)) {arrow} AKR] H-2-compatible chimeras and [AKR {arrow} AKR] syngeneic marrow transplanted mice had normal primary PFC responses. PFC responses after secondary stimulation with SRBC, however, revealed vigorous direct plaque formation and substantial but somewhat smaller indirect plaque formation in the [B6 {arrow} AKR] chimeras. This observation favors operationally the concept of adaptive differentiation proposed by Katz et al. (44). (d) Analysis of ability of the chimeras to develop and express delayed-type hypersensitivity responses to contact sensitizer (2,4-dinitro-l-fluorobenzene [DNFB]) showed no apparent immunodeficiency of either chimeras to this form of immunization. Development of immunologic tolerance to DNFB, however, was grossly deficient in [B6 {arrow} AKR] chimeras but normal in [AKR {arrow} AKR], [B6 {arrow} B6], and [E(k) {arrow} AKR] chimeras.

These findings indicate that full chimeras across major histocompatibility complex have considerable immunologic vigor even though primary immune responses that require histocompatibility between interacting cell types are initially defective.

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