Maturation of the antibody response to a protein-coupled form of the organophosphorus toxin soman

A. C. Buenafe, Marvin Rittenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We have analysed the serum antibody response of BALB/c mice to the organophosphorus toxin soman coupled to the protein carrier keyhole limpet haemocyanin (So-KLH) and compared the specificity of the serum antibodies to that of hybridomas described previously. The relative inhibitory capacities of various soman analogues for serum antibodies correlated with those for the monoclonal antibodies. Our results also demonstrate that immune memory to this organophosphorus hapten is stable for greater than 1 year. Interestingly, maturation of the serum antibody response is accompanied by fine specificity changes resulting in increased binding to soman-protein conjugates but not in significant changes in binding to free hapten analogues of soman. This finding suggests that contributions made by the protein carrier or bridge structure, including those made by amino acid side chains involved in the linkage, may play a significant role in the maturation process of antibodies recognizing protein-coupled organophosphorus haptens such as So-KLH. Structurally related but charge-dissimilar organophosphate haptens such as nitrophenylphosphocholine were poorly recognized, even when conjugated to protein with the same diazophenyl linkage used to conjugate soman. This is consistent with maintenance of high specificity in the memory immune response to soman-coupled protein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-406
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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