Production in vitro of antibodies directed against alloantigen-specific recognition sites on T cells and on lymphocytotoxic HLA antibodies.
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We have examined the mechanism of immunological unresponsiveness in a recipient (P.S.) with a long-term functioning renal allograft. P.S., whose HLA type is A1, A30; B14, B18; DR1, w8; DRw52; DQw1 and in whose serum we had earlier demonstrated the presence of antiidiotypic antibodies, received a kidney from a cadaver donor of HLA type A1, A10, B8 in March, 1970. Peripheral blood B lymphocytes from the patient were transformed with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and by the cluster-picking technique a B cell line was propagated with continuous production of antibodies. Antiidiotypic antibodies with two distinct biological functions were demonstrable; one specifically inhibiting the lymphocytotoxic activity of anti-HLA-B8, B5, and DR3 reference typing sera, and the other specifically inhibiting proliferative responses in MLC of the recipient's lymphocytes and of third party cells sharing B14, DR1, DQw1 with the patient against stimulator cells carrying B8, DR3 antigens. Immunodepletion experiments demonstrated that the inhibitory activity was associated with the IgM fraction. Absorption experiments suggested that different antibodies may be responsible for the inhibition of lymphocytotoxic activity of anti-HLA sera and of the proliferative responses in MLC. Antiidiotypic antibodies have been postulated to be important in maintaining allograft tolerance in vivo, thereby enhancing renal allograft survival. The availability of such antibodies in large quantities, produced in vitro, could provide antisera for the immunochemical characterization of specific idiotypic receptors on immunoglobulins and T lymphocytes.
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