The End of H-2
Mta, the maternally transmitted antigen of mice, was discovered and its analysis was pursued because it seemingly had nothing to do with H-2. Immunization of NZB/B1NJ mice with H-2-compatible BALB/c cells gave rise to cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) that killed target cells of more than eighty strains of mice, independent of their H-2 type. Cold target competition showed that they all shared one antigen, and it was hard to find a strain whose cells were not lysed (Fischer Lindahl et al. 1980). Mta was thus a clear exception to the rule that CTL are H-2-restricted, i.e. recognize their target antigens in association with one of the class I major histocompatibility antigens (MHC I), H-2K, H-2D and H-2L. Obviously, we were not dealing with a rare case of MHC II-restricted CTL either.
KeywordsCongenic Strain Histocompatibility Antigen Wild Mouse Restriction Element Kill Target Cell
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