Human breast cyst fluids were shown to contain low concentrations of IgA (15-78 micrograms/ml) and IgG (33-145 micrograms/ml). The IgA:IgG ratios in individual breast cyst fluids ranged from 1:0.6 to 1:4. These levels are considerably higher than their ratio in serum (1:7). IgA from 33% of the 40 fluids examined, and IgG from 10% of the fluids, reacted with the murine mammary tumor virus (MuMTV). The reactivity was detected by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay that measures antibody binding to both the envelope glycoprotein and core protein of the virus. In a second series of experiments. IgA from 28% of 40 breast cyst fluids reacted only with MuMTV while IgA from 30% of the fluids was reactive with both MuMTV and the Rauscher murine leukemia virus. Antigen reactive with antiserum to the 28,000-dalton MuMTV core protein (p28), was also identified in a 165,000-g pellet fraction from breast cyst fluids. In individual fluids, the extent of IgA binding to MuMTV was positively correlated (P less than or equal to 0.01) with the binding of anti-p28 antibody to the pellet of the breast cyst fluid. Fractions with the buoyant density of retroviruses (1.16-1.18 g/ml) or their cores (1.21-1.25 g/ml) were isolated from breast cyst fluids. These fractions contained a DNA polymerase capable of utilizing the reverse transcriptase-specific template, dG12-18 x poly rCm. In addition, they reacted with antiserum to MuMTV p 28 but not with antiserum to the 30,000-dalton Rauscher murine leukemia virus core protein.


S S Witkin, N H Sarkar, D W Kinne, C N Breed, R A Good, N K Day


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