Structural proteins of LCMV were identified and their role in the immune complex glomerulonephritis of LCMV carrier mice was examined. Purified LCMV contained three major polypeptides, a single nonglycosylated nucleoprotein with an estimated m.w. of 63,000, and two surface glycoproteins of 54,000 and 35,000. Deposition of nucleoprotein antigen in the glomeruli of LCMV carrier mice of several strains was demonstrated by immunofluorescent staining with a monospecific antibody. In addition, Ig eluted from kidneys of three strains of LCMV carrier mice was shown by immune precipitation to react against all of major viral polypeptides of LCMV. Antibody from normal mice, and from mice with immune complex disease unrelated to LCMV did not show deposition of LCMV antigen in glomeruli, and Ig eluted from the kidneys of these mice did not react against LCMV antigens. Hence, mice infected at birth with LCMV and persistently infected throughout their life make antibodies to all the known structural polypeptides of the virus.
This work was supported by United States Public Health Service No. AI-09484. This is Publication No. 1422 from the Department of Immunopathology, Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, California 92037.