The hemolytic plaque inhibition assay has been performed on spleen cells from mice immunized with TNP-HRBC to evaluate avidity of anti-TNP IgM antibodies. At different times after immunization direct plaques were inhibited by soluble TNP-EACA, TNP61-BGG, or anti-µ antiserum. Analysis of the inhibition data provided independent estimates of antibody avidity and secretion rate. Avidity was found to increase with time, to reach a maximum when the antibody response attained the peak value, and then to decline as the response was waning. There was a decrease followed by increase of the secretion rate concomitant with the rise and fall of the antibody response and avidity.

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This work was supported in part by CNEN-Euratom Contract. Publication No. 1510 of the Euratom Biology Division.

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