The immunodeficiency in CBA/N mice is reflected by abnormal development of a subset of B lymphocytes. However, it is not clear how xid, the mutant gene in CBA/N mice, affects the development of this subset. Specifically, it is not known if the xid gene influences the development of the B cell subset directly or indirectly by providing the improper developmental milieu through effects on other cells. We investigated this question using female mice heterozygous for two x chromosomal genes, xid and Pgk-1 (phosphoglycerate kinase-1). Since females are mosaic because of x chromosome inactivation, their lymphocytes can be studied for the choice of the x chromosome, using the two PGK-1 isoenzymes as the cytological marker. We find that B lymphocytes in the spleen prefer the x chromosome without xid while the remaining splenocytes and cells from other tissues do not. This suggests that xid affects B lymphocytes directly and not through their developmental milieu. Furthermore, our data suggest that the precursors for IgG1- and IgG3-producing cells may be both few and different.

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