A hybridoma antibody (11E7-1) was isolated from a myeloma fusion with nu/nu BALB/c immunized against the T15 idiotype. This IgM antibody exhibited a dual specificity, binding both to PC and to anti-PC antibodies from two idiotype families. Binding to PC and anti-PC antibodies are completely inhibited by PC analogs. Furthermore, the hybridoma antibody binds to itself. Self-binding is also inhibited by PC analogs. From these data, we suggest that 11E7-1 hybridoma antibody has a PC-specific paratope site, and at same time expresses the internal PC antigen idiotope. The term autobody is proposed to signify its self-binding and potential role in autoimmunity. Autobodies may have a unique role in the network of immune system. Furthermore, it may be a model for designing idiotype vaccines.

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