Idiotypes are believed to be due to the structural conformation of the variable region of immunoglobulins (Ig). We have found an idiotype (C3-24) that requires both variable and constant regions of the heavy chain to be expressed. C3-24 Id is associated with both the T15 variable region from anti-phosphorylcholine (PC) antibodies and the constant region for the alpha-heavy chain. High titer anti-PC serum from a variety of inbred strains of different Ig haplotypes failed to express C3-24 Id. However, when IgA but not IgG or IgM fractions were isolated from a pool of anti-PC serum from BALB/c mice, more than 70% of the molecules expressed C3-24 Id. The high frequency of the expression of C3-24 Id in IgA anti-PC hybridoma proteins from mice of different Ig haplotypes and in the IgA fraction of normal anti-PC antibodies from BALB/c and presumably other strains of mice suggests that idiotypic determinants produced by the three-dimensional product of VH and CH regions may not be unusual.

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