Anti-idiotype antisera were raised in syngeneic (BALB/c mice) and homologous (A/J mice) systems to study the cross-reactive idiotypes among monoclonal antibodies to PR8 and B/Lee virus HA and the expression of these idiotypes during primary and secondary antiviral responses of BALB/c mice. Extensive idiotypic cross-reactivity was demonstrated among monoclonal antibodies specific for distinct antigenic determinants on PR8 hemagglutinin (HA). The study of idiotypy of monoclonal antibodies against the same or overlapping antigenic determinants on B/Lee HA showed that these monoclonal antibodies may bear (a) a true individual idiotype not shared by other monoclonal antibodies, (b) idiotypes shared by few monoclonal antibodies, and (c) true cross-reactive idiotypes shared by all of these monoclonal antibodies. In contrast, no cross-reactive idiotypes were detectable among monoclonal antibodies to B/Lee HA and monoclonal antibodies to PR8 HA. Furthermore, we have shown that the anti-idiotype antibodies we used recognize determinants on monoclonal antibodies closely associated with antigenic binding sites. Finally, studies of the idiotypes expressed during primary and secondary antiviral HA responses of mice immunized with B/Lee virus revealed persistence of some idiotypes during both primary and secondary responses, whereas others were only expressed in the primary or secondary response.

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