We report here the complete heavy and light chain variable region sequences of seven heterohybridomas derived from CD5+ chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) B lymphocytes and displaying natural autoantibody activity. The three hybrids displaying a polyreactive pattern of binding used VH4 family members, ie, the VH4–18 gene in germinal configuration in two cases and a VH4 gene with 90% homology with VH4–21 for the third one. A hybrid expressing anti-Sm activity used a VH3 family member with 95.26% homology with the 30P1 gene. The three hybrids exclusively displaying rheumatoid factor activity expressed VH1 family genes: 51P1 gene for two (in germinal configuration in one, and with 93.2% homology in the other), whereas the third one used the V1–3b gene (98.8% homology). Definitive homology with known germline D segments was found for four of the seven hybrids (DN2 in 3 and DLR4 in 1) and JH use appeared to be random. The three hybrids displaying polyreactive activity expressed V kappa I, V lambda III, and V lambda II genes, all in germinal configuration. Among the three hybrids with rheumatoid factor activity, two used the same V kappa II gene with, respectively, 98% and 96% homology with a gene previously described; the third used a V lambda I gene in germinal configuration. Finally, the clone with anti-Sm activity used a V lambda III gene having 97% homology with a germinal gene. Overall, these results attempt to establish the relationship between frequent self- reactivity observed in CD5+ B-CLL and V gene usage. For VH genes, they confirm overexpression of the 51P1 gene in B-CLL and suggest nonstochastic use of two VH4 genes (4–21 and 4–18). For VL genes, available information is too scarce to lead to firm conclusions.

This content is only available as a PDF.