Skin grafts were reciprocally exchanged in pairs of congenic lines identical in all genes except those located in the central portion of the H-2 complex. Seven such lines were tested: 6R, B10.AQR, A.TL, A.TH, 7R, 9R, and B10.HTT. In all donor-recipient combinations at least some grafts were rejected. In combinations differing at the IA subregion (and other central H-2 regions or subregions), all first-set grafts were rejected within 3 wk after transplantation, and all second-set grafts were rejected within 10 days. In combinations differing at the IC subregion (and other central regions, but not at the IA subregion) between 60 and 100% of first-set grafts were rejected, but some grafts survived for over 100 days. Most of the second-set grafts were rejected within 1 mo after grafting. This behavior of skin grafts indicated the presence of two histocompatibility loci in the I region, a strong one and a weak one. This conclusion was confirmed by genetic mapping which placed the strong locus in the IA subregion and the weak locus in the IC subregion. We designate the former locus H-2A and the latter H-2C. The same strain combinations used for the skin grafting were also used for determination of the capacity of I-region antigens to function as targets in the in vitro cell-mediated lymphocytotoxicity (CML) assay. Spleen cells from mice presensitized in vivo by skin grafting were restimulated in vitro and tested against 51Cr-labeled concanavalin A or lipopolysaccharide blasts. The testing revealed the presence in the I region of two loci coding for CML-target antigens. The two loci comapped with the H-2A and H-2C loci and were most likely identical to them. As in the skin grafting test, in the CML test, the H-2A antigens evoked stronger response than the H-2C antigens. Rejection of skin grafts across the H-2A and H-2C loci was accompanied by the production of Ia antibodies. Direct cytotoxic and absorption tests with Ia antibodies directed against antigens coded for by the IC subregion revealed the presence of IaC antigens on epidermal cells. We suggest that the products of Ia loci might function as transplantation antigens.

This content is only available as a PDF.