BALB/c mice were injected with IgM mAb specific for Moloney murine leukemia virus (M-MuLV)-determined cell surface Ag in an attempt to inhibit Moloney sarcoma growth. The monoclonal IgM significantly inhibited sarcoma growth when given to the mice after inoculation with Moloney murine sarcoma/leukemia virus, and also potentiated the in vivo antibody response specific for M-MuLV Ag. These responses were significantly greater than the primary response to the virus alone in age- and sex-matched control mice, and were also seen in mice which were injected with the IgM antibody only and not with virus, suggesting that an Ag-independent mechanism may be involved. The M-MuLV-specific serum antibody responses induced by the monoclonal IgM, with or without prior virus inoculation, were predominantly of the IgG1 isotype, with some IgG2a; no other isotypes were found to have titers significantly higher than in the normal response to virus alone. M-MuLV-specific IgG1 was detected only in mice injected with monoclonal IgM, and not in the response to virus alone. The same sera also had high titers of anti-idiotypic antibodies, (Ab2), as well as anti-anti-idiotypic antibodies (Ab3). It appears, therefore, that passive immunization with M-MuLV-specific IgM mAb activates an idiotypic network, which results in both Ab2 and Ab3 responses; the M-MuLV-specific response may be considered a subset of Ab3.

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