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Type: Journal article
Title: Somatic mutation of immunoglobulin genes in human neonates
Author: Ridings, J.
Nicholson, I.
Goldsworthy, W.
Haslam, R.
Roberton, D.
Zola, H.
Citation: Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 1997; 108(2):366-374
Publisher: WILEY
Issue Date: 1997
ISSN: 0009-9104
Abstract: The antibody response in the young infant is limited in several ways; in particular, responses generally are of low affinity and restricted to IgM. This raises the question whether the affinity maturation process, consisting of somatic mutation of immunoglobulin genes coupled with selection of high-affinity variants, is operative in the neonate. Re-arranged V(H)6 genes were amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from cord blood and from peripheral blood of infants. Heteroduplex analysis detected mutation in only 2/18 cord blood samples, while mutations were seen from about 10 days of age onwards. Cloning and sequencing of mutated neonatal V(H)6 genes showed that mutated sequences contained relatively few mutations (one to three mutations per sequence) compared with published values of about 10 in adult IgM sequences. Selection was not evident in the majority of neonatal samples. Thus mutation can occur in the human neonate, but is minimal and generally not accompanied by selection. The age at which affinity maturation develops effectively is yet to be defined.
Keywords: immunoglobulin somatic mutation; neonatal antibody response; affinity maturation; immunoglobulin genes
RMID: 0030005691
DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2249.1997.3631264.x
Appears in Collections:Paediatrics publications

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