The primary antibody response of C57BL/6 mice to the 4-hydroxy-3-nitrophenylacetyl (NP) hapten is restricted to antibody molecules expressing the NPb idiotype. This idiotype is a genetic marker for V genes in the heavy chain linkage group. In the secondary response, the frequency of NPb idiotype-positive molecules within the antibody population drops to very low values. Accordingly, isolated NP binding receptors from NP-sensitized B lymphocytes are largely devoid of this idiotype. In contrast, the NPb idiotype is expressed on the majority of the receptor fractions which we consider T-cell derived. This finding suggests that the antigen receptors of T lymphocytes may be restricted to the expression of major (germ-line encoded?) heavy chain idiotypes.

This content is only available as a PDF.