Cross-Reacting Idiotypes in the Human System

  • Henry G. Kunkel


One of the most striking phenomena regarding anti-idiotypic antisera and monoclonal antibodies is the remarkable cross-reactions observed. This is certainly true in the human system. These cross-reactions extend well beyond simple immunoglobulin variable regions but also involve ordinary cell receptors as well as the T-cell receptors for specific antigens. In fact, the latter cross-reaction between immunoglobulins and T-cells receptors has been misleading and led to the broad impression that similar Vgenes are involved. Current evidence indicates that this is not the case.(1,2) Much of the work in the human system has been carried out on autoantibodies, particularly those that appear in monoclonal form. Idiotypic cross-reactions are striking in these autoantibodies, and this may be a special characteristic of these antibodies. In this discussion a number of these autoantibody systems will be reviewed with special emphasis on the chemical basis for certain of the cross-reacting idiotypes (CRI). In addition, recent work on T-cell-specific idiotypes and CRIs will be discussed.


Light Chain Rheumatoid Factor Rabbit Antiserum Cold Agglutinin Thyroglobulin Antibody 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry G. Kunkel
    • 1
  1. 1.The Rockefeller UniversityNew YorkUSA

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