Cell-mediated and humoral immune responses to heterologous insulins in mice are controlled by H-2-linked, dominant, immune response (Ir) genes. For example, mice bearing the H-2d haplotype develop T cell proliferative responses and produce antibody after injection with porcine insulin, whereas mice bearing other H-2 haplotypes do not. Data presented in this communication demonstrate that homozygous and heterozygous H-2d mice produce insulin-binding antibodies when immunized with porcine insulin or proinsulin. Some (H-2b,k,s) insulin-nonresponder mice produce insulin-binding antibodies after injection of proinsulin, whereas other insulin-nonresponder strains (H-2q) do not. All strains, except homozygous H-2q mice, produce antibodies specific for proinsulin, suggesting that the response to porcine proinsulin is also controlled by H-2-linked Ir genes. More importantly, F1 hybrids between insulin-nonresponder C57BL/10 (H-2b) and DBA/1 (H-2q) produce no insulin-binding antibodies when injected with proinsulin, despite the fact that proinsulin-binding antibodies are produced by these mice.

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This work was supported by United States Public Health Service Research Grant AI-13987 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Biomedical Research Support Grant RR-05491 to The Jewish Hospital of St. Louis from the Division of Research Resources, and Training Program in Experimental Pathology Grant GM-0897 from the National Institutes of Health.

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