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J Immunol. 1994 Jan 15;152(2):632-41.

Neonatal VH, D, and JH gene usage in rabbit B lineage cells.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, IL 60153.


The neonatal antibody repertoire in both mouse and humans differs from that of the adult repertoire in that the neonatal repertoire uses a limited set of JH-proximal VH genes but the adult repertoires use many different VH genes. Rabbits are unusual in that adults use only three or four VH genes, with approximately 80% of the B cells using VH1, the 3'-most VH gene. To investigate whether the repertoire of neonatal rabbits differs from that of adults, we analyzed VH, D, and JH gene usage in B cells of neonatal rabbits. A total of 68 rearranged VDJ genes was cloned from mRNA and genomic DNA isolated from lymphoid tissues of newborn to 10-day-old rabbits. We found that 74% of the VDJ gene rearrangements utilized VH1 and 15% utilized the genes that we designated VHx or VHy. From the remaining VDJ genes we identified seven novel VH genes, one, VHz, which was found in mRNA. We conclude that the repertoire of utilized VH genes in neonates is limited and is similar to that of adult rabbits. We also found the D1, D2a, D2b, and JH4 gene segments preferentially rearranged. We suggest that the preferential usage of VH, D, and JH gene segments in VDJ genes is caused by preferential rearrangement rather than by selective expansion of B cells that utilize the gene segments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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