The T cell receptor: the alpha and beta chains define idiotype, and antigen and MHC specificity

Cell. 1985 Aug;42(1):81-7. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(85)80103-3.


Three independent T cell hybridomas were isolated that have identical specificities for antigen and products of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). All three react with the same clone-specific antireceptor antibody, and Southern blots show all three contain the same rearranged alpha and beta genes. Variants of one of these hybridomas, DO-11.10, were isolated that had lost the ability to respond to antigen plus MHC. These proved to have lost the DO-11.10-specific alpha or beta genes or both. Fusion of alpha-loss variants to beta-loss variants restored reactivity. These results indicate that the specific recognition of antigen plus MHC is determined solely by the alpha/beta-containing T cell receptor.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epitopes
  • Genes
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology*
  • Hybridomas
  • Immunoglobulin Idiotypes / immunology*
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred AKR
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Epitopes
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Immunoglobulin Idiotypes
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Ovalbumin