Antigens have been classified previously into three categories, thymus-dependent (TD), thymus-independent type (TI) 1, and TI-2, based upon thymic dependence and ability to stimulate an immunodeficient strain of mouse, CBA/N. Here we demonstrate that the different antigen classes elicit IgG antibodies of different subclasses. TD antigens stimulate predominantly IgG1 antibodies, with smaller amounts of IgG2 and IgG3 being expressed. TI-1 antigens stimulate almost no IgG1 antibodies and equal amounts of IgG2 and IgG3. TI-2 antigens elicit predominantly IgG3 antibodies. Mice expressing the CBA/N phenotype are known to be nonresponsive to TI-2 antigens. This was confirmed in this study. In addition, we demonstrate that the IgG3 component of the response to TI-1 antigens is virtually absent in mice expressing the CBA/N phenotype, which supports our previous finding that the CBA/N defect may be restricted to a B-lymphocyte subpopulation containing most of the precursors of IgG3-secreting cells.

This content is only available as a PDF.