V region gene analysis of anti-Sm hybridomas from MRL/Mp-lpr/lpr mice.
Anti-Sm autoantibodies are unique to SLE, but are present in only 25% of patients with this disease. This response also occurs at a similar frequency in mice of the autoimmune MRL strains. Previous analyses of the anti-Sm response in these mice indicate that its occurrence is controlled by stochastic events, and suggest that Sm is the driving Ag. To further elucidate the role of Ag in this response, and to test the hypothesis that the 25% incidence is due to a requirement for particular Ig gene rearrangements or somatic mutations, we have analyzed the specificity and V-region gene sequences of 41 anti-Sm B cell hybridomas derived from nine anti-Sm-positive MRL/Mp-lpr/lpr mice. The majority of hybridomas are specific for the D peptide of the Sm particle. Hybridomas of independent origin express unique VH/V kappa combinations with diverse junctional sequences and are variable in the extent of somatic mutation. Thus, the response does not appear to be dependent upon the occurrence of a rare Ig gene rearrangement or specific somatic mutation. The response exhibits restriction in JH and VH gene use, and in individual mice is oligoclonal, suggestive of Ag selection. In the few B cells for which mutations can be identified, the evidence for selection of mutant B lymphocytes, based on patterns of mutation, is ambiguous. However, there is remarkably little intraclonal diversity, suggesting that the overall mutation rates in these clones are low.
Bloom, DD; Davignon, JL; Retter, MW; Shlomchik, MJ; Pisetsky, DS; Cohen, PL; Eisenberg, RA; Clarke, SH
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