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Published March 29, 1985 | public
Journal Article

Developmentally Controlled Expression of Immunoglobulin V_H genes


Although antibody diversity arises mainly from apparently random combinatorial and somatic mutational mechanisms acting upon a limited number of germline antibody genes, the antibody repertoire develops in an ordered fashion during mammalian ontogeny. A series of early pre-B and B-lymphocyte cell lines were examined to determine whether an ordered rearrangement of gene families of the variable region of immunoglobulin heavy chains (V_H) may be the basis for the programmed development of the antibody response. The results indicated that the V_H repertoire of fetal B-lineage cells is largely restricted to the V_H 7183 gene family and that subsequent recruitment of additional V_H gene families occurs during neonatal development. These results have important implications in understanding the ontogeny of immune function.

Additional Information

© 1985 American Association for the Advancement of Science. 3 August 1984; accepted 4 January 1985. Supported by a New Investigator Research Award AI18088 (R.M.P.) and a Procter and Gamble postdoctoral fellowship (S.P.C.). We thank M. Shapiro and P. Brodeur for the V_H Q52 probe; J. Klotz, M. Kronenberg, and P. Gearhart for valuable discussions; and C. Katz for preparing the manuscript.

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