Immunologic memory to phosphorylcholine. III. IgM includes a fine specificity population distinct from TEPC 15

S. P. Chang, M. Brown, M. B. Rittenberg

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22 Scopus citations


Group I and group II variable regions expressed in the PC-KLH memory response may originate from distinct germ-line genes or group II may arise by somatic mutation of group I (TEPC 15) germ-line genes. A current version of the somatic mutation hypothesis proposes that somatic mutation is activated by the class switch from IgM to IgG or IgA. If group II results from somatic mutation during class switching, group II IgM antibodies would not exist. This prediction was tested in the present experiments. Group I and group II antibodies were separated from whole serum by affinity chromotagraphy on PC-Sepharose. An ELISA was used to characterize the fine specificity and idiotype of the isolated antibody populations. Group I antibodies were inhibited by both PC and NPPC haptens and were T15 idiotype-positive. Group II antibodies were inhibited appreciably only by NPPC and were negative for the T15 idiotype. The purified group II antibodies contained a significant IgM component, and high levels of group II IgM were detected during the early secondary response to PC-KLH. These observations are inconsistent with the hypothesis that group II originates by somatic mutation activated by the class switch. These results strongly suggest that one or more of the germ-line genes (V, D, or J) of group I and II are different. Alternatively, if group II antibodies arise from group I by somatic mutation, this mutation must occur before class switching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1559-1562
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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