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Int Rev Immunol. 1992;9(1):25-43.

The repertoire of human antibody to the Haemophilus influenzae type b capsular polysaccharide.

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Department of Pediatrics and Microbiology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, New York 14642.


Human antibody to the Haemophilus influenzae capsular polysaccharide (Hib CP) is restricted in diversity in the individual and the population with a limited number of variable region genes encoding antibody. Antibody to the Hib CP shows restricted isoelectric focusing gel patterns and light chain usage with frequent restriction to use of only kappa light chains. Shared cross-reactive idiotypes are expressed on antibody. The heavy chain of antibody to the Hib CP is predominantly encoded by two members of the VH3 family--LSG 6.1/M85-like and VH26/30P1-like. In VH the CDR1, based on complete identity in LSG 6.1/M85-like antibodies, CDR2, based on the suggestion of mutation in this region, and CDR3, based on conserved CDR3 usage in unrelated individuals, may be important for antigen binding. Six or more different VL gene families encode antibody. The predominant antibody of the majority of individuals uses the A2-V kappa II gene in germline or near germline configuration, which encodes an idiotype designated HibId-1. Antibody can also be encoded by V kappa I, non-A2 V kappa II, V kappa III, V kappa IV, V lambda II, and V lambda VII genes. Although different VL genes can be used, unrelated individuals appear to use the same V kappa III (A27), V lambda II (V lambda 2.1 and V lambda VII (4A) genes. The VL diversity accounts for differences in fine binding specificity, with A2-V kappa II genes not encoding E. coli K100 CP cross-reactive antibodies and V lambda VII genes and some of the non-A2 V kappa genes encoding cross-reactive antibodies. The arginine in CDR3 of both antibody kappa and lambda light chains and the asparagine in CDR2 of VL sequences and in CDR1 of LSG6.1-M85 VH sequences of antibody appear to be important residues for antigen binding. A relatively limited degree of somatic mutation has occurred in the non-A2 VL genes, V lambda VII, and the VH genes. Further studies comparing the polymorphism of germline V genes to antibody-encoding V genes are needed to clarify this issue. Research comparing this repertoire to repertoires directed to other bacterial CP and to self antigens and defining structure-antigen binding relationships is in progress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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