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J Immunol. 2003 Sep 1;171(5):2725-33.

Single-cell repertoire analysis demonstrates that clonal expansion is a prominent feature of the B cell response in multiple sclerosis cerebrospinal fluid.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, 4200 East Ninth Avenue, Mail Stop Box B182, Denver, CO 80262, USA.


Single-cell RT-PCR was used to sample CD19(+) B cell repertoires in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) or viral meningitis. Analysis of amplified Ab H and L chain products served to identify the rearranged germline segment and J segment, and to determine the degree of homology for the H and L chain sequence of individual B cells. The B cell repertoire of viral meningitis CSF was predominantly polyclonal, whereas B cell clonal expansion was a prominent feature of the IgG repertoire in three of four MS patients. Two dominant clonal populations in one MS CSF accounted for approximately 70% of the IgG H chain V regions sequenced, while the corresponding IgM repertoires were more heterogeneous. One clonal B cell population revealed multiple L chain rearrangements, raising the possibility of a role for receptor editing in shaping the B cell response in some MS patients. The most immediate implications of identifying rearranged Ig sequences in MS B cells is the potential to accurately recreate recombinant Abs from these overrepresented H and L chains that can be used to discover the relevant Ag(s) in MS.

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