Presence of thymic antigen on rabbit basophils.
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A goat heteroantiserum specific for a rabbit thymus lymphocyte antigen (RTLA) reacted with rabbit basophils resulting in the release of histamine. This activity was equally absorbed out by thymocytes or basophils. Absorption with either of these cell types also resulted in equal loss of thymocytotoxicity. No effect in either system occurred after absorption with either granulocytes or rabbit fibroblasts. These results could not be explained by the presence of immune complexes or aggregated globulin present in the RTLA antiserum. Further, the RTLA anti-serum had no anti-IgE activity, as demonstrated by its lack of reactivity with mast cells that were otherwise capable of releasing histamine normally after challenge with antigen. We have thus shown a basic difference between mast cells and basophils. We conclude that the rabbit basophil may bear a thymic marker.
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