An anti-idiotypic antiserum was raised in rabbits to a monoclonal antibody (Fd-1) with specificity for one (the N epitope) of the two antigenic epitopes found on the ferredoxin (Fd) molecule. The anti-idiotypic antiserum (anti-Fd-1) was used to demonstrate that the Fd-1 idiotype was expressed at significant levels in most anti-Fd antisera raised in B10.BR mice. Examination of antisera raised in other mouse strains demonstrated that expression of this idiotype mapped to the IgH gene complex and was found in the antisera of all mouse strains examined with the Ig-1 allotype. When splenocytes from Fd-immune B10.Br mice were treated with anti-Fd-1 and transferred to irradiated syngeneic recipients, the adoptive secondary response was significantly higher in animals receiving treated cells as opposed to control animals, which received normal rabbit serum-treated cells. This response produced a net increase in antibody to both determinants, and the relative amount of Fd-1 idiotype was not significantly altered. Further studies with separated cell populations showed that the overall increase of anti-Fd antibody produced was attributable to the effects of the anti-idiotypic serum on a population(s) of T cells. Treatment of mice with the Fd-1 monoclonal antibody (which should react with anti-idiotypic cells) had an analogous effect to that of the anti-idiotype, in that mice so treated produced higher concentrations of anti-Fd antibodies when they were immunized and these antibodies exhibited net increases to both determinants. A model is presented to explain these results.

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