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J Immunol. 1989 Sep 15;143(6):2074-80.

Quantitative analysis of idiotypic mimicry and allelic exclusion in mice with a mu Ig transgene.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02254-9110.


Analysis of C57BL/6 mice (IgM allotype, Igh-6b or mu b) that carry an Ig H chain transgene of a different allotype (mu a) shows that IgM molecules of mixed allotype (mu a mu b) are present among serum antibodies. The finding was extended to hybridomas prepared from nonimmune transgenic mice, many of which also failed to exhibit allelic exclusion. The proportions of mu a and mu b secreted by individual hybridomas varied markedly, and the product of an individual hybridoma was found to be heterogeneous with respect to the allotype content of individual molecules. The ratio of mu a:mu b chains secreted by individual hybridomas was found to correlate with the number of transgene copies remaining in each hybridoma, and several hybridomas that secrete only mu b-positive molecules had apparently lost all but one copy of the transgene. An idiotype characteristic of the transgene was found to be present only in association with the transgenic (mu a) allotype, and indirect evidence strongly suggests that the idiotype was present only on mu a polypeptide chains. Thus, there is no evidence in this system for the induction of idiotypically cross-reactive endogenous molecules.

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