mAb to human and mouse MHC molecules were tested for binding to blood or spleen cells of various nonmammalian vertebrates by immunofluorescence and flow cytometry. Those that bound were used to immunoprecipitate cross-reactive molecules from biosynthetically or cell surface-labeled spleen or blood cells. In addition, mAb to human MHC molecules were screened by Western blots. As expected from the results with xenoantisera, there were few mAb that cross-reacted, and many of these cross-reactions were not specific for MHC-like molecules. Less than 10% of the mAb tested bound to the cells of any particular species, with very few positive for more than one species. Of those mAb that bound cells, many failed to precipitate any radioactive bands, and most bands precipitated were not recognizable as MHC-like molecules. Five mAb reacted with Xenopus class II, one of which also immunoprecipitated axolotl class II. Another of these reacted with a candidate for class II in the lamprey, but this molecule had features unlike those expected for mammalian class II molecules. Four other mAb reacted with candidate molecules. in the trout and shark. None of the mouse alloantibodies immunoprecipitated nonmammalian vertebrate MHC-like molecules. In contrast to the results with most xenoantisera, the mAb cross-reacting with amphibian class II molecules recognized a number of different linear epitopes on the surface of the polymorphic non-Ig beta 1 domain of class II molecules. Few mAb recognized bands in Western blots of nonmammalian vertebrate cells and the candidate molecules from fish had features different from known mammalian MHC molecules.

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