A syngeneic antiidiotypic mAb, C1C3, was characterized as to its binding to monoclonal anti-collagen II (-CII) auto-antibodies reactive with different epitopes of the native CII molecule. Both by direct binding and by inhibition ELISA studies, the anti-idiotypic antibody was shown to react with a cross-reactive idiotope present on Fab fragments of most, but not all, tested anti-CII mAb, whereas the binding to Fab fragments from normal mouse IgG was low. As previously described, C1C3 bound to isolated Fc fragments from normal mouse IgG. The binding to intact normal mouse IgG was, however, weak, and only isolated Fc-gamma fragments, not intact IgG, competed efficiently with Fab fragments of anti-CII antibodies for binding to the antiidiotypic antibody. The antibody was shown to self-associate, i.e., to behave similarly to certain IgG rheumatoid factors obtained from patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The presented data indicate that the described anti-anti-CII mAb may be representative of antibodies involved in the physiologic regulation of autoimmunity to CII and, consequently, may be used as a tool for further studies on idiotypic regulation in CII-induced arthritis.

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