The anti-(4-hydroxy-3-nitro-phenyl)acetyl (NP) response is dominated by lambda 1 chain-bearing antibodies expressing the VH gene V186.2 in combination with the D element DFL16.1. lambda 1-positive B cells were isolated from the spleens of mice immunized with NP-chicken gamma globulin 6 wk earlier. Rearranged V186.2 genes were amplified from the genomic DNA of these cells and sequenced. In cases where the rearrangement was typical for secondary anti-NP antibodies, the VHDJH sequences were generally heavily mutated. The frequency and the nature of the nucleotide exchanges mirrored those of secondary response antibodies. V186.2 genes with other rearrangements and V186.2-related genes isolated concomitantly were essentially unmutated. These results demonstrate: (a) that somatic antibody mutants are largely restricted to a small compartment of peripheral B cells, namely, that of memory cells; (b) that the memory compartment is strongly selected for high affinity precursors and largely purged from antigen-binding loss mutants; and (c) that the repertoire of binding specificities expressed in the secondary response is established in its final form before secondary immunization.
The repertoire of somatic antibody mutants accumulating in the memory compartment after primary immunization is restricted through affinity maturation and mirrors that expressed in the secondary response.
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U Weiss, K Rajewsky; The repertoire of somatic antibody mutants accumulating in the memory compartment after primary immunization is restricted through affinity maturation and mirrors that expressed in the secondary response.. J Exp Med 1 December 1990; 172 (6): 1681–1689. doi: https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.172.6.1681
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