Structural characterization of the second major cross‐reactive idiotype group of human rheumatoid factors. Association with the VH4 Gene Family

Academic Article


  • Rheumatoid factors (RF) are the most common type of functional antibodies among naturally occurring human monoclonal IgM proteins. A large subset of these autoantibodies use structurally homologous light chains of the kIII subgroup, which bear the 6B6.6 cross‐reactive idiotype (CRI). Although antibody binding activity requires both heavy and light chains, information about the heavy chains used by these autoantibodies is limited. To investigate these proteins, the murine monoclonal antibodies, 5–14 and 6–10, were generated by immunization with the heavy chains of the 6B6.6 CRI‐positive RF, COR and LEW. These antiidiotypic antibodies reacted with 8 of 11 autoantibodies that coexpressed the 6B6.6 CRI. All 8 RF had heavy chains from the VH4 gene family, as assessed by reactivity with a VH4‐specific primary sequence‐dependent antibody. The same RF were also identified by the previously described murine monoclonal antiidiotype, LCI. Further experiments revealed that the LCI antibody delineates a subfamily of VH4 heavy chains that is preferentially used in KIII‐6B6.6 CRI‐positive IgM‐RF. The cumulative data suggest that 13–22% of RF express both the KIII‐6B6.6 and VH4‐LC1 CRI. These findings document that RF autoantibody activity requires specific VL‐VH pairing, and that a subset of idiotypically related VH4 heavy chains is commonly expressed in disease‐associated monoclonal IgM‐RF. Copyright © 1990 American College of Rheumatology
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Silverman GJ; Schrohenloher RE; Accavitti MA; Koopman WJ; Carson DA
  • Start Page

  • 1347
  • End Page

  • 1360
  • Volume

  • 33
  • Issue

  • 9