Infant and adult human B cell responses to rotavirus share common immunodominant variable gene repertoires.

Weitkamp JH, Kallewaard N, Kusuhara K, Bures E, Williams JV, LaFleur B, Greenberg HB, Crowe JE
J Immunol. 2003 171 (9): 4680-8

PMID: 14568943 · DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.171.9.4680

Ab repertoires exhibit marked restrictions during fetal life characterized by biases of variable gene usage and lack of junctional diversity. We tested the hypothesis that Ab repertoire restriction contributes to the observed poor quality of specific Ab responses made by infants to viral infections. We analyzed the molecular determinants of B cell responses in humans to two Ags of rotavirus (RV), a common and clinically important infection of human infants. We sequenced Ab H and L chain V region genes (V(H) and V(L)) of clones expanded from single B cells responding to RV virus protein 6 or virus protein 7. We found that adults exhibited a distinct bias in use of gene segments in the V(H)1 and V(H)4 families, for example, V(H)1-46, V(H)4-31, and V(H)4-61. This gene segment bias differed markedly from the V(H)3 dominant bias seen in randomly selected adult B cells. Recombinant Abs incorporating any of those three immunodominant V(H) segments bound to RV-infected cells and also to purified RV particles. The RV-specific B cell repertoires of infants aged 2-11 mo and those of adults were highly related when compared by V(H), D, J(H), V(L), and J(L) segment selection, extent of junctional diversity, and mean H chain complementarity determining region 3 length. These data suggest that residual fetal bias of the B cell repertoire is not a limiting determinant of the quality of Ab responses to viruses of infants beyond the neonatal period.

MeSH Terms (20)

Adult Antibody Diversity Antibody Specificity B-Lymphocyte Subsets Clone Cells Complementarity Determining Regions Female Gene Rearrangement, B-Lymphocyte, Heavy Chain Humans Immunodominant Epitopes Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains Immunoglobulin J-Chains Immunoglobulin Light Chains Immunoglobulin Variable Region Infant Lymphocyte Count Male Protein Structure, Tertiary Random Allocation Rotavirus

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