Three novel antigen systems (L22, L23, and L24) expressed on human B cell subpopulations were identified by using TB1-2C3, TB1-2B3, and TB1-3C1 monoclonal antibodies, respectively. L22 was expressed on a minor subpopulation of B cells in human lymphoid tissues and in the peripheral blood. These B cells associated with L22 were resting small B cells mainly located in the mantle zone of lymphoid follicles, most of which also expressed IgM and IgD on their cell membrane. This antigen was absent from all cultured hemopoietic cell lines including B cell-derived cell lines as well as from all human B cell malignancies, except for B cell-type chronic lymphocytic leukemia and hairy cell leukemia. L23 and L24, on the other hand, existed on approximately two-third of B cells in blood and lymphoid tissues. These L23 and L24 antigens were expressed largely on small lymphocytes located in the mantle zone of lymphoid follicles and to a lesser extent on large blastic cells within lymphoid germinal centers. L23 and L24, like L22, seem to disappear from B cells during their differentiation into antibody-secreting cells, because they were not expressed on normal and neo-plastic plasma cells. This is additionally confirmed by the observation that L23 and L24 were expressed little or not at all on pokeweed mitogen-activated and Epstein-Barr virus-transformed B cells, and were absent from some of B cell malignancies that have been thought to correspond to the later stages of B cell development. Although L23, but not L22 and L24, was faintly expressed on mature granulocytes and monocytes, none of L22, L23, or L24 existed on human thymus and T cells. Immunoprecipitation studies showed that L23 and L24 were different molecular species consisting of a single glycoprotein with m.w. of 205,000 and 145,000, respectively. L22 antigen is presently under study.

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