Acute infection of the A-strain mouse neuroblastoma cell line, N2A (H-2a), with measles virus caused a selective decrease in the expression of H-2Kk determinants, as measured by the quantitative absorption assay. No effect was seen on the H-2Dd determinants. This decrease was paralleled by an increase in expression of measles antigen on the cell surface. Compared to uninfected cells, measles-infected N2A cells became less susceptible to lysis by cytotoxic lymphocytes sensitized against H-2a. The reduced expression of H-2Kk was not due to inhibition of total host cell protein synthesis by measles virus, nor was it the result of removal of H-2Kk molecules by budding virus. These results are consistent with the concept that an interaction between measles virus and H-2Kk determinants can result in "altered self" antigens, and produce an apparent decrease in the expression of native H-2Kk, but not on H-2Dd, antigens suggests that viral antigens may selectively interact with specific histocompatibility antigens but not affect others. The results also demonstrate that altered expression of H-2 determinants is not a sufficient condition for recognition and cytolysis of virus-infected cells by immune T cells.
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