The ability to introduce carefully controlled numbers of viable cells into the anterior chamber of mouse eyes made it possible to examine the interrelationship between presentation of antigens into the anteior chamber and into conventional body sites and their synergistic/antagonistic effects on the immune system. P815 mastocytoma (DBA/2; H-2d) cells are syngeneic with BALB/c hosts at the major histocompatibility locus, but differ at multiple minor histocompatibility loci. When P815 cells were injected subcutaneously, they were rejected by BALB/c recipients who became specifically immune. By contrast, when P815 cells were injected intracamerally, they grew progressively into massive intraocular tumors; moreover, these BALB/c hosts proved subsequently unable to reject subcutaneously injected P815 cells, and, more impressively, failed to reject DBA/2 skin allografts placed orthotopically. Minor histocompatibility antigens, presented first through the anterior chamber of mouse eyes, elicit a suppressive rather than an aggressive host immune response that protects cells that bear these antigens from a destructive alloimmune reaction at both intracameral and systemic sites.

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