The emergence of Id variants is a major escape mechanism from anti-Id therapy of human B cell malignancies and of the murine B cell lymphoma 38C13. To determine what impact the epitope specificity of anti-Id antibodies has on the prevention of emergence of such Id variants in the 38C13 lymphoma, anti-Id mAb of varying epitope specificity for the Id of 38C13 tumor cells were produced and studied. Some antibodies, produced by immunizing mice with both the wild-type 38C13 IgM and variant IgM, cross-reacted with wild-type 38C13 IgM and with all four members of a panel of variant IgM. These anti-Id did not react with separated 38C13 IgM H or L chains by Western blot, but did react with the cytoplasmic H chain of the surface Ig- variant cell line T2D that expresses the same H chain as wild-type 38C13 in its cytoplasm but does not express any associated L chain. In contrast, anti-Id of narrower specificity did not react with this H chain. This indicated that the broadly cross-reactive antibodies recognized a stable epitope on 38C13 H chain. When a broadly cross-reactive antibody MS11G6 was compared to S1C5, an antibody of narrower specificity, MS11G6, was superior at preventing tumor growth in mice inoculated with 38C13 cells. Moreover, no surface Ig+ variants emerged in escaping tumors in the MS11G6-treated group, whereas such variants were common in the S1C5 treated group. Both anti-Id were of equal efficacy in eliminating wild-type 38C13 cells by using 38C13 cells in tumor inoculums that had just been cloned in vitro, but MS11G6 was also capable of preventing the growth of several surface Ig+ variant cell lines in vivo. We conclude that anti-Id recognizing more stable Id determinants can limit the emergence of Id variants and therefore be more effective therapeutic agents. This finding is of additional importance as additional in vivo and immunophenotypic studies demonstrated that the generation of Id variants was an ongoing process both in cloned parental 38C13 cells and its variants.

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