ABSTRACT: Characterization of the human antibody (Ab) repertoire in mouse models of the human immune system is essential to establish their relevance in translational studies. Single human B cells were sorted from bone marrow and periphery of humanized NOD/SCID γc(null) (hNSG) mice at 8-10 months post engraftment with human cord blood-derived CD34(+) stem cells. Human IG variable heavy (V(H)) and kappa (V(κ)) genes were amplified, cognate V(H)-V(κ) gene-pairs assembled as single-chain variable fragment-Fc Abs (scFvFcs) and functional studies were performed. Although overall distribution of V(H) genes approximated the normal human Ab repertoire, analysis of the V(H)-third complementarity-determining regions in the mature B-cell subset demonstrated an increase in length and positive charges, suggesting autoimmune characteristics. Additionally, >70% of V(κ) sequences utilized V(κ)4-1, a germline gene associated with autoimmunity. The mature B-cell subset-derived scFvFcs displayed the highest frequency of autoreactivity and polyspecificity, suggesting defects in checkpoint control mechanisms. Furthermore, these scFvFcs demonstrated binding to recombinant HIV envelope corroborating previous observations of poly/autoreactivity in anti-HIVgp140 Abs. These data lend support to the hypothesis that anti-HIV broadly neutralizing antibodies may be derived from auto/polyspecific Abs that escaped immune elimination and that the hNSG mouse could provide a new experimental platform for studying the origin of anti-HIV-neutralizing Ab responses.
Genes and immunity 05/2012; 13(5):399-410. · 4.22 Impact Factor