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Mol Immunol. 1990 May;27(5):451-62.

Evolution of the MHC: antigenicity and unusual tissue distribution of Xenopus (frog) class II molecules.

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  • 1Basel Institute for Immunology, Switzerland.


Antibodies that recognize Xenopus class II molecules have been developed. Mouse monoclonal antibodies were prepared by immunizing BALB/c mice with frog MHC antigens that had been partially purified with alloantisera, and by immunizing mouse spleen cells in vitro with activated Xenopus T lymphocytes. In addition, five mouse monoclonal antibodies specific for human class II antigens were found to cross-react with Xenopus class II antigens. A.TH mice, which do not express E class II molecules, always produce immunoprecipitating antibodies reactive with frog class II molecules after immunization with frog lymphocytes; other mouse strains rarely produce such antibodies. Two of the monoclonal antibodies raised against frog class II molecules recognize the denatured class II beta chain on Western blots, and the other three appear to recognize only the class II heterodimeric complex. The antibodies display differential reactivity with the allelic class II products of Xenopus. The monoclonal antibodies react with all adult lymphocytes in the spleen and peripheral blood, T cells and B cells having equivalent levels of class II antigens per cell. Class II molecules are "differentiation antigens" on adult thymocytes as the expression is greatest on the mature medullary population. The number of class II molecules/lymphocyte increases after culturing in medium containing fetal bovine serum. Sequential immunoprecipitation and isoelectric focusing experiments have shown that cell surface class II molecules immunoprecipitated with the monoclonal antibodies are the same as those immunoprecipitated with the cross-reactive antiserum specific for DR antigens which was previously used to identify frog class II molecules.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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