- The immunogenic properties of one (or few) selected antigen(s) encoded by the mouse major histocompatibility complex was studied using the C57BL/6(B6) mouse strain and its descendant B6.C-H-2 6m1(bm1) mutant. These strains differ in a point mutation in the H-2K region. We compared the immunogenic and antigenic expression of the mutated antigen on different bm1 tissues by testing the vulnerability of these tissues to graft rejection response in B6 recipients. Previous results demonstrated that B6 and bm1 mice do not reject reciprocal thyroid transplants, despite the acute rejection of reciprocal skin grafts. Thyroid grafts were rejected, however, after presensitizing the recipients with skin graft syngeneic with the thyroid, but not after sensitization with spleen cells. In the present work we induced tumors in bm1 mice by treating them with a chemical carcinogen (3-methylcholanthrene). We found that two out of four tumors demonstrated strict strain specificity and were rejected by all mouse strains (including the B6 recipients) except by their strain of origin. All tumors were found to be sensitive to in vitro lysis by B6 anti-bm1 effector cells. HZ1-A and HZ1-B tumor cells were rejected by B6 recipient mice but could not immunize B6 mice against a subsequent bm1 thyroid graft. When testing the immunogenicity of B6 originated EL4 leukemia cells (which are fatal to B6 mice), we found that the tumor cells were rejected by bm1 recipients, but, unlike B6 skin grafts, were incapable of inducing the rejection of a subsequent B6 thyroid transplant. The results demonstrated that an H-2K molecule may exhibit different immunological properties when expressed on cells of different tissues. The different expression of the mutated antigen on different cell types, its ability to trigger T cells but not B cells responses and the potential involvement of the tissue specific differentiation molecules in the graft rejection response are discussed.