The antibody response to bovine lymphocyte alloantigens Academic Article uri icon


  • Antibodies were raised against lymphocyte cell-surface antigens by multiple immunisations with purified lymphocytes or by the exchange of skin allografts. Eighteen of 21 cattle immunised with lymphocytes raised a detectable cytotoxic antibody response. The serum antibody from 10 responders recognized only common lymphocyte antigens, those antigens which are present on all peripheral blood lymphocytes. One animal responded only to B lymphocyte antigens while 7 others responded to both classes of antigens. The amount of antibody produced varied greatly between individuals; antibody titres ranged from 1 to 1028. Antibody raised early in the response was sensitive to treatment with 2-mercaptoethanol (2-ME) suggesting that IgM was the predominant class of immunoglobulin. Subsequently antibody became resistant to this treatment suggesting the appearance of IgG. The antibody responses following the exchange of skin grafts were very similar in all 12 cattle studied. High titred antibody to common lymphocyte antigens was detected in the serum 14 days after grafting. The early antibody activity was sensitive to 2-ME treatment but became totally resistant within 14 days. Total peak antibody titres ranged from 128-2048. Antibody to B lymphocyte antigens was identified in 8 of the 12 cattle. The responses to B lymphocyte antigens were similar to those against the more widely distributed common lymphocyte antigens with respect to time of antibody appearance, time of peak titre and sensitivity to 2-ME. Peak titres ranged from 2 to 32. The change in antibody specificity with time was also studied. Sera from 11 of the 18 cattle which had responded against lymphocytes showed an increase or broadening in reaction frequency as immunisations increased, suggesting the production of antibody to secondary specificities. In the cattle which had been skin grafted, the broadest reaction patterns were seen 14 to 21 days after grafting. The broadest reaction patterns were seen when the antibody responses were at their highest titre levels and narrowed as titres decreased.

publication date

  • July 1983