Specific idiotypie can be induced in randomly chosen rabbits by preimmunization with anti-idiotypic antibodies (Ab2). Rabbits that synthesize anti-anti-idiotypic antibodies (Ab3) when injected with antigen produce antibodies that display idiotypic specificities that are also found on the starting idiotype. When female rabbits actively producing Ab3 are crossed with naive males, a significant proportion of the offsprings (approximately 40%) produce antibodies that were idiotypically cross-reactive with the starting idiotype, as compared to 3% of the controls. This conclusion was obtained using 5 female rabbits and their 32 surviving offspring. Maternal idiotypes have therefore strong immunoregulatory properties and influence the emergence of the available idiotypic repertoire.

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