Strain-dependent expression of V(H) gene families

H. D. Jeong, J. L. Komisar, E. Kraig, J. M. Teale

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72 Scopus citations


The tremendous diversity of the antibody specificity repertoire stems from the ability of each developing B cell to select one out of many possible variable, diversity, and joining gene segments by specific rearrangement of the DNA. The mechanism by which V region gene segments is selected is not known. Moreover, evidence for both random and nonrandom expression of V(H) genes in mature B cells has been presented previously. In this report, the technique of in situ hybridization is used to accurately measure at the single cell level V(H) gene family expression in LPS-induced cells from several strains. In this way, at least one-third of the B cells are stimulated and a large sampling of activated splenocytes from each strain analyzed. The use of in situ hybridization eliminates any potential biases resulting from transformation protocols. In addition, because all populations of cells are analyzed by both in situ hybridization and immunocytochemical staining with anti-IgM, the proportion of cells detected by in situ hybridization could be compared with the proportion of B cells, blasts, and plasma cells in the population. It was concluded from these comparisons that the cells being detected by in situ hybridization under the conditions described are plasmablasts and plasma cells. Therefore, an accurate measure of the functional and expressed V(H) gene repertoire could be made. The results clearly demonstrate strain-dependent variation in V(H) gene family expression, particularly V(H) 7183 and V(H) J558 with up to three-fold differences observed. Thus, either there is considerable strain variation in the number of functional V(H) gene family segments or the expression of V(H) genes is not entirely random.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2436-2441
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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