Somatic cell hybrid clones were isolated from the fusion of RPC 5,4 mouse myeloma cells and B lymphocytes from three patients with agammaglobulinemia. One patient had X-linked agammaglobulinemia; the remaining two patients had common varied agammaglobulinemia. All three patients had B lymphocytes which fail to secrete immunoglobulin. The hybrid nature of the clones was established by examination of metaphase chromosome spreads. Most of the clones from all three patients expressed surface immunoglobulin of mouse and human parental origin. Clones from two of the patients had fewer cells with surface Ig than hybrids from normal persons, while clones from the third patient had large numbers of surface Ig fluorescent cells. Most of the clones from all three patients synthesized and secreted human and mouse immunoglobulin. As determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate acrylamide gel electrophoresis of radioactively labeled proteins, clones from each of the patients produced human gamma, alpha, and mu-heavy chains. These studies demonstrate the presence of functional structural genes coding for human immunoglobulin heavy chains in B lymphocytes of patients with agammaglobulinemia. Further, they represent induction in the somatic cell hybrids of a gene product not expressed in the parental B lymphocytes.

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