Synthetic peptides corresponding to eight individual heavy chain complementarity-determining regions (CDR) of three human monoclonal IgM anti-IgG (rheumatoid factor [RF]) paraproteins elicited rabbit antibodies with markedly different properties. All antisera recognized the immunizing peptide, and several reacted with the isolated IgM heavy chain on immunoblots. However, only the antisera against peptides representing the third CDR bound consistently and specifically to the intact IgM-RF molecule. These data indicate that the third CDR of human mu chains comprises an immunodominant idiotype, and suggest that the D gene segment may be especially important in creating idiotypic diversity. Synthetic peptides corresponding to the third heavy chain CDR of human paraproteins may be clinically useful for the specific induction of antiidiotypic antibodies.

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