Unique type-specific antigens were detected on cells infected with dualtropic and thymotropic viruses isolated and x-ray-induced T cell- and B cell-malignant lymphomas of C57BL/6 mice. These antigens were defined by membrane fluorescence with antisera made in rabbits against rabbit cells chronically infected with cloned virus. The antisera were qualitatively absorbed with a group of cells chronically infected with related dualtropic, ecotropic, and xenotropic viruses. The absorbed antisera detected type-specific, virus-related cell-surface antigens that were unique for different dualtropic virus isolates. The unabsorbed sera also reacted with antigens found specifically on ecotropic and xenotropic virus-infected cells. These findings support the contention that T cell lymphoma (TCL)-inducing and B cell lymphoma (BCL)-inducing viruses isolated from x-irradiated C57BL/6 mice are env gene recombinants in which ecotropic gene sequences have been substituted by xenotropic sequences. We found that unique antigenicities are associated with each TCL-inducing and BCL-inducing dualtropic virus, and that the thymotropic TCL-inducing virus isolates (e.g., 136.5 adn 136.7 viruses) represent a separate serologic group, different from the dualtropic TCL-inducing viruses. By using a series of absorbed antisera in microimmunofluorescence tests we could perform serologic virus mapping of dualtropic clones isolated by us or by others and relate them serologically to previously isolated clones. These virus mapping experiments indicated that many serologically different recombinant viruses can be isolated from C57BL/6 mice. It is suggested that many distinct recombinant viruses may exist in lymphomagenic C57BL/6 mice, some of which are associated with specific lymphoma induction.

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