Idiotype-Specific T Cells

Role in Regulation
  • Mary McNamara
  • Heinz Kohler
  • Susan Smyk


The nature of T-cell receptors is among the most controversial questions in contemporary immunology. The key problem lies in the hypothesis that T-cell receptors are encoded by genes which are homologous to immunoglobulin gene segments.(1–3) Data that are pertinent for this issue come from four different approaches: (1) serological identification of T-cell surface proteins or T-cell-derived factors, (2) functional impairment or stimulation of T-cell activities induced by idiotype-specific antibodies, (3) demonstration of immunoglobulin linkage for T-cell-specific functions, and (4) analysis of the immunoglobulin gene segment arrangement in specific T-cell clones. Among the strongest supportive evidence for the immunoglobulinlike structures of T-cell receptors is the sharing of idiotopes among B and T cells. For example, some anti-idiotypic(4–8) and anti-VH framework sera(9) effect T-cell functions and bind to antigen-specific factors made by T cells(10,11) In a set of recent experiments we have obtained evidence that T-helper cells (Th) can recognize idiotypes as carrier-determinants for a hapten-specific B cell.(12,13) These Th can be induced by idiotype- and antigen-specific priming procedures. The specificity of idiotype recognition is somewhat unique and clearly different from that of B cells responding to immunization with idiotype.(14,15) It appears that the idiotype-recognizing Th recognize idiotopes primarily on the heavy chain and that these idiotopes are involved in the binding site of the target idiotype immunoglobulin.


Helper Cell Internal Image Myeloma Protein Strong Supportive Evidence Limit Dilution Analysis 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary McNamara
    • 1
  • Heinz Kohler
    • 1
  • Susan Smyk
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular ImmunologyRoswell Park Memorial InstituteBuffaloUSA

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