Our previous analyses of peritoneal Ly-1 B cells indicate that a high percentage express VH genes of the VH11 and VH12 families, and that this bias is due to clonal selection. The antibodies encoded by these genes bind the same hapten, phosphatidyl choline (PtC). Twenty-one of 73 hybridomas generated from fusions with peritoneal Ly-1 and Ly-1 sister population B cells of B10.H-2aH-4bp/Wts mice produce anti-PtC specific antibodies. We show here that 19 of these express VH11 and VH12 family genes and two express VH36-60 family genes. To assess whether there is a bias in VH gene use among non-PtC-specific hybridomas we analyzed the remaining 52 hybridomas for VH family expression by using VH family-specific probes in an RNA dot blot assay and by Ig mRNA sequencing. We find a seven-fold increase in the expression of the VHS107 family genes, and only slight differences in the expression of VH genes of other families relative to splenic B cells. We attribute the increase in VHS107 gene expression to clonal selection inasmuch as five of the seven VHS107+ hybridomas express the same VH gene (V11) and VL association is nonrandom. The bias in VH gene use among the entire panel of 73 peritoneal hybridomas is to the extent that approximately one-third express one of three genes: the V11 gene of the S107 family, the CH34 gene of the VH11 family, and the VH12 family gene.

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