Introduction of the CBA/N X-linked gene into C3H mice has resulted in the establishment of a new strain of mice that has profound immunologic defects. B cells from these mice show significantly impaired in vitro immune responses to the T cell-independent type 1 antigen trinitrophenyl-Brucella abortus (TNP-BA) as well as markedly reduced proliferative responses to a number of B cell mitogens when compared with the responses of the parental control mice. The in vivo response of such mice to TNP-BA is, however, comparable to that of CBA/N mice. Furthermore, B cells from C3.CBA/N mice are unresponsive to the plaque-forming cell enhancing effects induced by EL4-derived supernatant in the presence of TNP-BA, unlike B cells obtained from CBA/N or C3H/Hen mice whose responsiveness to TNP-BA can be significantly enhanced in the presence of EL4-derived supernatant. The model we have presented to best explain these results suggests that B cells from C3.CBA/N mice can be stimulated only under conditions in which they can interact with carrier-specific T cell help and not under conditions where factor-dependent responses are dominant.

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