Preimmunization of either guinea pigs or rabbits to bovine gamma globulin (BGG) prepares the animals for markedly enhanced antibody responses to 2,4-dinitrophenyl-BGG (DNP-BGG). This phenomenon is observed both in the primary anti-DNP antibody response to DNP-BGG and in the secondary anti-DNP antibody response to DNP-BGG in animals primed with DNP-ovalbumin (DNP-OVA). The BGG preimmunization is most effective if the antigen is administered as a complete Freund's adjuvant emulsion; in rabbits, a dose of 1 µg of BGG is more effective than a dose of 50 µg, whereas the reverse is true in guinea pigs. Transfusion of homologous anti-BGG sera fails to replace active immunization with BGG in the preparation of animals for these enhanced anti-DNP antibody responses. Both the immunoglobulin class and the average association constant for ϵ-DNP-L-lysine of the anti-DNP antibody produced in these enhanced responses is determined by the mode and time of immunization with haptenic conjugates and is not appreciably influenced by the nature of the carrier preimmunization.
These studies indicate that the carrier specificity of hapten-specific anamnestic antibody responses is largely due to the interaction of two independent cell associated recognition units, one specialized for carrier and the other specific for haptenic determinants.