B cell and antibody repertoire development in rabbits: the requirement of gut-associated lymphoid tissues

Dev Comp Immunol. 2006;30(1-2):137-53. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2005.06.017.


The antibody repertoire of rabbits has interested immunologists for decades, in part because of the ease with which large quantities of high affinity antibodies can be obtained in serum, and in part because of the presence of genetic variants, allotypes, within V(H), C(H) and C(L) regions. Studies of these allotypes led to the initial descriptions of allelic exclusion, and neonatal suppression of serum Ig production (allotype suppression), and were instrumental in demonstrating that V and C regions are encoded by separate genes and are usually expressed in cis. The immune system of rabbit continues to be of interest primarily because of the use of both gene conversion and somatic hypermutation to diversify rearranged heavy and light chain genes and the role that gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT) and intestinal flora play in developing the primary (preimmune) antibody repertoire.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / genetics
  • Antibody Formation / physiology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / chemistry
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Intestinal Mucosa / chemistry
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism*
  • Lymphoid Tissue / chemistry
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology*
  • Lymphoid Tissue / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Rabbits