We have analyzed a panel of T cell clones that corecognize defined epitopes of the insulin molecule in association with Ia for their patterns of recognition of alloantigens. A striking correlation is observed between recognition of the I-Ab gene product and cow insulin alpha loop and recognition of I-Eu of the PL/J haplotype. These results are consistent with the notion that reactions to foreign major histocompatibility complex (MHC) products reflect molecular mimicry by foreign class II antigens of 'physiologic' complexes formed by autologous class II MHC molecules and antigen.

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