Five new histocompatibility antigens, designated secondary B cell or (SB) antigens, have been identified by secondary allogeneic proliferative and cytotoxic responses. The reagents used to define the SB antigents are lymphocytes primed between donors matched for all known HLA antigens. The SB antigens stimulate weak primary allogeneic proliferative responses (a mean relative response of 8%) but strong secondary proliferative responses. Strong secondary cell-mediated cytotoxicity is generated against target antigens that are distinguishable from the SB antigens defined by proliferation. Studies by direct lysis and by cold-target inhibition indicate that these target antigens are preferentially expressed on B cells relative to T cells. The SB antigens segregate with HLA, and the gene(s) encoding the SB1, 3, and 4 antigens maps centromeric to HLA-B. The SB antigens are major histocompatibility antigens not only because they are encoded by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes, but also by the functional criteria that the proliferative and cytotoxic responses to SB antigens are not restricted by HLA-DR or HLA-A,-B. Parallel studies of the SB antigens and the DR antigens with respect to: (a) their preferential expression on B cells, (b) their function in secondary allogeneic proliferative and cytotoxic respones, and (c) the location of their structural gene within the MHC. However, the SB antigens and the DR antigens are clearly distinct antigens, because population studies indicate that they can occur independently, and family studies indicate that specific SB antigens segregate with HLA haplotypes having different D and DR specificities. Our data are consistent with the hypotheses that the SB antigens are a new segregant series of B cell alloantigens, and that the SB gene and the DR gene derive from a duplicated ancestral gene.

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