The numbers of MHC class I molecules expressed by spleen cells from various mouse strains were determined by using MHC-specific monoclonal antibodies and a radioactive binding assay. Although small differences were found to exist in some cases, our general conclusion is that different mice of the same strain, congenic mice of different haplotypes, and syngeneic mice of varying background all express similar numbers of class I antigens. B10.A mice (8 to 10 wk old), for example, express 5.3 X 10(4) Kk molecules/cell, 5.4 X 10(4) Dd molecules/cell, and 2.2 X 10(4) Ld molecules/cell. Some of the differences observed in class I antigen expression included: 1) the level of Kk expression increased to a small but significant extent with age in B10.A mice; 2) female B10.A mice expressed slightly higher amounts of Kk than male mice; and 3) B10.A(2R) and B10.A(4R) recombinant strains expressed elevated levels of K-end antigens and slightly decreased levels of D-end antigens when compared with the unrecombinant B10.A strain. In several strains, F1 mice express approximately 50% as many copies of each parental antigen as do the homozygous parents. B10 mice, which are negative for the L antigen, nevertheless express the same total number of D-end molecules as do B10.A mice. The data suggest that the levels of expression of MHC class I molecules are controlled by at least two factors: gene dosage and another factor(s) that gives rise to the small variations in class I antigen expression seen with age, sex, and strain, and to the low expression of Ld relative to Dd and Kk.
- Copyright © 1985 by American Association of Immunologists