Erythrocyte Membrane-specific Antigens common to Several Species of Rodentia


THE rare existence of organ-specific antisera transcending species differences was pointed out by Coombs1. Similar new organ, or “erythrocyte-specific”, antisera reacting selectively to the erythrocytes of several species of Myomorpha are described here. The antisera, “anti-A”, were prepared by the method of Adachi and Furusawa2: adult guinea-pigs were sensitized with the “antigen-A” (the protein portion of dd mouse erythrocyte membrane). The detailed procedure for preparing labelled antibody, the staining method and its specific reactivity to mouse erythrocytic cells have been reported before3. Circulating erythrocytes from various animals were stained with the fluorescein isothiocyanate-labelled “anti-A”. Smeared cell preparations were fixed with acetone at − 20° C for 20 min and incubated with the labelled antisera, which had been thoroughly absorbed with the emulsion of mouse liver and kidney to remove the cross-reacting antibodies, at 37° C for 90 min. A light microscope with a darkfield condenser was used for the fluorescent observations using Orsen's interference filter system. Clear fluorescent reactions, though of varied intensities, were observed with those animals classified as Myomorpha, that is, mouse, rat, golden hamster and Chinese hamster (Table 1, Fig. 1). Mammalian erythrocytes other than those of the guinea-pig used as the sensitized animal showed faint fluorescences. Nucleated erythrocytes of the chick, quail, turtle, toad and goldfish were negative to the reaction. The erythrocyte-specific reactivity of the labelled antisera was examined with the liver, kidney and thymus cells of the animals whose erythrocytes displayed intense fluorescences; they showed, however, no fluorescence.


  1. 1

    Coombs, R. R. A., General Physiology of Cell Specialization (edit. by Mazia, D., and Tyler, A.), 181 (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1963).

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  2. 2

    Adachi, H., and Furusawa, M., Exp. Cell Res., 50, 490 (1968).

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  3. 3

    Furusawa, M., and Adachi, H., Exp. Cell Res., 50, 497 (1968).

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FURUSAWA, M., TAKAHASHI, K. Erythrocyte Membrane-specific Antigens common to Several Species of Rodentia. Nature New Biology 235, 242 (1972).

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