The inheritance of individual antigenic specificities (IAS) of rabbit antibodies to the Group C streptococcal carbohydrate was demonstrated in a selectively bred rabbit family. The IAS of the antibodies from 3 proband rabbits were also observed in the Group C antibodies in as many as 7 out of 42 related rabbits, but in none of the Group C antibodies from 48 unrelated rabbits, Immunodiffusion analyses and quantitative radioprecipitin experiments revealed that this cross-specificity may be either partial or complete.
Quantitative inhibition of the precipitin reaction between the proband antibody and its antiserum by preimmune IgG revealed 30-fold differences in the proportion of molecules with cross-specificity for the proband antibody. This proportion is higher in the preimmune IgG of the proband rabbit and of those relatives which produced cross-precipitating antibodies than it is in the IgG of rabbits which had the same group a allotype, but did not produce cross-precipitating antibodies. The proportion is much lower in the IgG of rabbits with a group a allotype different from that of the proband antibody. These data suggest that serologically detected individual antigenic specificities are inherited markers of immunoglobulins.