On the basis of previous frequency determinations we could set up large numbers of cultures, each containing less than one competent precursor B cell specific for beta-galactosidase or for each of three idiotopes previously found on a monoclonal anti-beta-galactosidase antibody. Cultures were polyclonally activated by either lipopolysaccharide or Nocardia-delipidated cell mitogen. Each culture supernatant was individually tested for hemagglutination activity against sheep erythrocytes coupled with beta-galactosidase or with each of the three purified monoclonal anti-idiotypic antibodies. The results showed that only a minority of those clones positive for only one or two idiotopes recognized antigen. However, all those clones simultaneously positive for the three V region determinants recognized beta-galactosidase. The implications of these results for our understanding of the relationship between the antigen-binding site and idiotope expression are discussed.

This content is only available as a PDF.