Developmentally controlled expression of immunoglobulin VH genes

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 Mar 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4694, pp. 1597-1601
DOI: 10.1126/science.3975629


Although antibody diversity arises mainly from apparently random combinatorial and somatic mutational mechanisms acting upon a limited number of germline antibody genes, the antibody repertoire develops in an ordered fashion during mammalian ontogeny. A series of early pre-B and B-lymphocyte cell lines were examined to determine whether an ordered rearrangement of gene families of the variable region of immunoglobulin heavy chains (VH) may be the basis for the programmed development of the antibody response. The results indicated that the VH repertoire of fetal B-lineage cells is largely restricted to the VH 7183 gene family and that subsequent recruitment of additional VH gene families occurs during neonatal development. These results have important implications in understanding the ontogeny of immune function.

Stay Connected to Science