Immunoglobulin G (IgG) from the rabbit strain Basilea was previously shown to contain two distinct populations of molecules one with light chain belonging to the known lambda isotype and the others to a new kappa-like L chain type. Alloantisera prepared against the Basilea IgG are directed against the kappa-like light chain (anti-bas antisera). All Basilea rabbits express kappa-like chains recognized by anti-bas sera, but IgG from other domestic rabbits did not react with these antisera. Genetic studies of wild rabbits belonging to different populations show that the bas+ phenotype could be found in heterozygous rabbits as well as those homozygous at the b locus. The gene encoding the bas+ light chain is closely linked to the b locus. Moreover, antigenic determinants recognized by anti-bas antibodies and antigenic determinants recognized by antibodies directed against allotypic determinants of the b series are located on distinct IgG molecules. These results show that there are two rabbit kappa isotypes: the kappa 1 isotype, bearing allotypic determinants of the b series, and the kappa 2 isotype, for which bas+ chain is one of the allotypic forms. The kappa 1 and kappa 2 isotypes are controlled by closely linked genes.

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