Specificity and Age of Appearance of Natural Immunity to MTV Antigens

Diana M. Lopez, M. Michael Sigel, Gabriel Ortiz-Muniz, Wade Parks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Previous studies demonstrated that despite freedom from MTV and mammary tumors early in life Balb/cCrgl mice possess lymphocytes sensitive to mouse mammary tumor antigen(s) within 2-3 weeks of life. This sensitivity was manifested in blastogenic transformation and migration inhibition reactions using RIII milk and purified MTV from RIII milk. These reactions were not elicited with the MTV-negative milk from NIH Swiss mice. Preincubation of MTV with anti-MTV antibody inhibited the blastogenic reaction. In contrast, antibody raised against a type C murine oncornavirus had no inhibitory effect and did not by itself induce blastogenic transformation. The nature of the virus-related antigen responsible for the lymphocyte sensitivity has not been ascertained, nor has its location in the animals' tissue been determined. However, radioimmune assays for p14 antigen in multiple tissues of Balb/c mice have yielded insignificant values suggesting either incomplete expression of the genome and/or different levels of the diverse mouse mammary tumor virus antigenic components. MTV-induced lymphocyte transformation is observed at low levels and in a small percentage of Balb/cCrgl mice as early as two weeks after birth in the blastogenic assay. At 8 weeks of age the responses in the lymphocyte transformation and migration inhibition assays are intermediate in frequency and/or intensity; by 16 weeks essentially maximal responses are noted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-27
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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