The role of allotype recognition in the regulation of the expression of latent allotypes has been investigated in two series of experiments. The first experiments were designed to investigate the apparent instability of latent allotypes in circulation. In these experiments, clearance rates of IgG preparations bearing allotypes matched and unmatched to the recipient were examined. In all cases, iodinated IgG matched in allotype to the recipient was cleared at a normal rate from the serum. However, in several cases, iodinated IgG of an unmatched allotype was cleared at a rate and in a manner suggesting prior sensitization of the recipient to IgG of that allotype. Such apparent sensitization correlated with the presence of the foreign allotypes as a latent allotype in several bleedings taken both before and after the clearance experiment. In the second series of experiments, designed to test the ability of antiallotype antibodies to affect the expression of latent allotypes, five rabbits were immunized first with purified antiallotype antibodies and then after 3-4 mo, with streptococcal vaccine. Examination of the antistreptococcal antibodies for latent allotype revealed, in all cases, that the allotype against which the antiallotype antibodies were directed was present in levels 8- to 20-fold greater than were observed before the antiallotype injections. These results indicate that recognition of allotypic determinants is an important element in the control of latent allotype expression and suggest the existence of a regulatory network involving antiallotype antibodies.

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