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Br J Haematol. 1989 May;72(1):9-15.

Identification of normal B-cell counterparts of neoplastic cells which secrete cold agglutinins of anti-I and anti-i specificity.

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Tenovus Research Laboratory, General Hospital, Southampton.


A monoclonal antibody, which recognizes a cross-reacting idiotypic determinant present on human cold-reactive autoantibodies with anti-I or anti-i binding activity, has been found to specifically inhibit the cold agglutination of red cells. This suggests that an epitope close to the binding site of such autoantibodies is being recognized. The antibody has been used to identify tumour cells in the blood of three patients with cold haemagglutinin disease, and to analyse the heterogeneous nature of the neoplastic B-cell clone present in the bone marrow of one of the patients. Using S-phase analysis, it was found that cell proliferation was occurring in the bone marrow but not in the blood, and that the major proliferating population was that of lymphoplasmacytoid cells containing large vesicular inclusions of idiotypic IgM. It has also been possible to locate normal B-cells which are recognized by the anti-idiotypic antibody. Such cells have been found throughout the normal adult lymphoid tissue where they account for 2.9-10.8% of the B lymphocyte population. They are also present in fetal spleen at 15 weeks gestation, indicating that immunoglobulins bearing this sequence form part of the immature B-cell repertoire.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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