Antibody responses of variable lymphocyte receptors in the lamprey

Academic Article


  • Lamprey and hagfish, the living representatives of jawless vertebrates, use genomic leucine-rich-repeat cassettes for the combinatorial assembly of diverse antigen receptor genes encoding variable lymphocyte receptors of two types: VLRA and VLRB. We describe here the VLRB-bearing lineage of lymphocytes in sea lamprey. These cells responded to repetitive carbohydrate or protein determinants on bacteria or mammalian cells with lymphoblastoid transformation, proliferation and differentiation into plasmacytes that secreted multimeric antigen-specific VLRB antibodies. Lacking a thymus and the ability to respond to soluble protein antigens, lampreys seem to have evolved a B cell-like system for adaptive humoral responses.
  • Published In

  • Nature Immunology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Alder MN; Herrin BR; Sadlonova A; Stockard CR; Grizzle WE; Gartland LA; Gartland GL; Boydston JA; Turnbough CL; Cooper MD
  • Start Page

  • 319
  • End Page

  • 327
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 3