A single genetic locus, Rfv-3, influenced Friend virus (FV) viremia, loss of FV-induced cell-surface antigens from leukemia cells, and generation of anti-FV antibodies. 30--90 d after FV infection leukemic spleen cells from (B10.A X A)F1 and (B10.A X A.BY)F1 mice (Rfv-3r/s) were found to have low FV-induced cell-surface antigen expression compared to leukemic spleen cells from A and A.BY mice (Rfv-3s/s). In addition, these F1 mice recovered from viremia and generated cytotoxic anti-FV antibodies. A and A.BY mice did not recover from viremia and failed to generate anti-FV antibodies. Anti-FV leukemia cell antibody appeared to mediate FV-antigen loss because decrease of FV cell-surface antigens occurred at the same time as anti-FV antibody appeared in the plasma of F1 mice, and passive transfer of anti-FV antisera induced modulation of FV cell-surface antigens. Rfv-3 did not influence an intrinsic ability of FV antigens to be modulated from Rfv-3s/s leukemia cells because FV antigen loss from Rfv-3s/s spleen cells occurred after transfer of cells to an immune environment.