Spleen cells from 6-day-old unimmunized male and female (CBA/N X BALB/c)F1 mice, fused with the nonsecreting hybrid SP2/0, gave 184 hybrids secreting immunoglobulins (183 IgM class; 115 from males and 69 from females) which were screened for antibody (Ab) activity against actin, tubulin, myosin, TNP-BSA, dsDNA, and denatured DNA. Eleven hybrids from the male series (9.65%) and eight hybrids from the female series (11.55%) secreted immunoglobulins with significant Ab activity against at least one of the six antigens tested. Four of these clones reacted with a single antigen, while 15 others reacted simultaneously with at least two antigens. Three hybrid clones exhibited Ab activity against all of the antigens tested. The monoclonality and specificity of the immunoglobulins from tissue culture supernatants were respectively assessed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis after biosynthetic labeling and competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. These results confirm our previous findings with newborn and adult BALB/c mice, demonstrating a high frequency of this auto-Ab repertoire, especially in newborn mice, and widespread polyspecificity found among these natural auto-Ab. Xid mice are characterized by the absence of a Lyb-3+,5+ B cell population; nevertheless, these studies suggest--but do not prove--that the Lyb-3-,5- lymphocyte population seems to carry genetic information for the production of natural auto-Ab, because no marked differences were observed in the secretory patterns of hybrids obtained from male mice bearing the Xid defect and from normal female mice. Hence, we postulate that the Xid gene might be a regulatory gene because Xid mice, in contrast with normal mice, are unable to secrete anti-DNA auto-Ab on mitogenic stimulation, despite carrying the genetic information.

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