VH Gene Usage in Humans: Biased Usage of the VH6 Gene in Immature B Lymphoid Cells

Eur J Immunol. 1991 May;21(5):1311-4. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830210532.


Preferential usage of JH-proximal VH genes has been demonstrated in immature murine B cell repertoires. To determine whether this phenomenon is also evident in human repertoires, we studied utilization of VH6, the most JH-proximal human VH gene. Examination of VH gene usage in a panel of precursor B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia samples indicated that 15% of the IgH rearrangements utilized VH6. VH6 is a single-member family in a total repertoire of 100-200 VH genes; thus, if usage were purely random, one would expect VH6 rearrangement frequency to be less than 1%. Analysis of VH gene usage in normal lymphoid tissues also revealed biased usage of VH6. VH6 was preferentially utilized in 16- to 24-week-old fetal liver as compared to adult peripheral blood mononuclear cells or spleen. Possible implications of the conservation of preferential usage of JH-proximal genes in both immature murine and human repertoires are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Genes, Immunoglobulin*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains / genetics*
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region / genetics*
  • Liver / immunology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / genetics
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / immunology


  • Immunoglobulin Heavy Chains
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region