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Curr Opin Immunol. 1997 Apr;9(2):228-32.

Generation of antibody diversity in rabbits.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Loyola University Chicago, Maywood, IL 60153, USA.


Most rabbit B lymphocytes use the same VH gene in V(D)J gene rearrangements and undergo somatic diversification by gene conversion and hypermutation. Recent experiments have shown that V(D)J genes in essentially all rabbit B cells diversify shortly after birth and that this diversification occurs in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue. Still to be determined is whether this diversification is developmentally programmed or is driven by exogenous microbial antigens.

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