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Cell. 1986 Apr 25;45(2):247-59.

Altered repertoire of endogenous immunoglobulin gene expression in transgenic mice containing a rearranged mu heavy chain gene.


C57BL/6 mice transgenic for a mu heavy chain gene, the VDJ region of which came from the BALB/c hybridoma 17.2.25, expressed high levels of antibody carrying determinants specific for the transgene (idiotypes). The individual antibodies made by hybridomas from transgenic mice, however, were generally encoded by endogenous genes; in most cases the transgene was present but not expressed. The endogenous, idiotype-positive antibodies had heavy chains that were notable for the high frequencies of JH4 (as in the transgene) and VH segments from the VH81X family (unrelated to the transgene). The expression of endogenous genes mimicking the idiotype of the transgene suggests that a rearranged gene introduced into the germ line can activate powerful cellular regulatory influences.

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