Natural auto- and polyreactive antibodies differing from antigen-induced antibodies in the H chain CDR3

Ching Chen*, Mary P. Stenzel-Poore, Marvin B. Rittenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


We describe three sets of natural (preimmune) polyreactive antibodies and Ag-induced antibodies that share the same VH-VL combinations. The amino acid homology in the VH and VL segments averaged 92%. These sets were found among 49 neonatal and adult natural mAb that were compared with 35 Ag-induced monoclonals produced during the memory response to phosphocholine (PC)-keyhole limpet hemocyanin. Both groups of monoclonals had been selected on the basis of a restricted fine specificity pattern, namely the ability to recognize PC-protein and p-nitrophenyl phosphocholine but not PC. All of the antibodies were tested for reactivity against a panel of 15 self and foreign Ag. Despite their common fine specificity as the basis for selection, 33/49 natural antibodies were poly/auto reactive whereas 0/35 Ag-induced antibodies had such poly/auto reactive properties. The natural antibodies were encoded by genes representing nine different VH families and several Vκ and Vλ families. There were a few replacement substitutions distinguishing the Ag-induced antibodies from the natural antibodies in each set; however, the most noteworthy difference was the extreme variability of CDR3 in the natural antibodies that differed in both length and amino acid sequence from each other and from Ag-induced antibodies. The results suggest that CDR3 of the H chain may play a critical role in distinguishing poly- from monospecific combining sites in natural and Ag-induced antibodies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2359-2367
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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