Idiotypic variation in a human B lymphoma cell line

Neil Berinstein, Michael J. Campbell, Kit Lam, Catherine Carswell, Shoshana Levy, Ronald Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The Ig Id of a B cell lymphoma serves as a distinct marker of the malignant clone and thus as a tumor-specific target for antibody therapy. Somatic variation of the Ig genes expressed by B cell tumors can lead to loss of reactivity with anti-Id antibodies and escape of tumors from the therapeutic effects of such antibodies. In our study, we have used anti-Id antibodies to screen for variants within a cell line derived from a patient with a large cell lymphoma of the B cell type. Cells were simultaneously stained on their surface for idiotypic and for isotypic Ig determinants using reagents labeled with different fluorochromes. Tumor cells expressing intact Ig molecules with alteration of their idiotypic determinants were isolated with the fluorescence activated cell sorter. Idiotypic variation was an ongoing process in vitro with Id- variants being generated at a rate of 2.7 x 10-4/cell per generation and Ig- cells being produced at a rate of 1.31 x 10-5/cell per generation. Subcloned variants expressed subtle differences in reactivity with a panel of three non-cross-blocking anti-Id antibodies. Analysis of Ig gene rearrangements by the Southern blotting technique using a JH probe established that the variants and the original tumor cells were all clonally related. Immunoprecipitation of surface labeled Ig molecules from the variant subclones disclosed major alterations of the λ-L chains with no gross alterations of the μ-H chains. Related studies have established that the tumor cells undergo rearrangement and expression of new λ-L chain genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)752-758
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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