Demonstration of seven epitopes on the Rh antigen D using human monoclonal anti-D antibodies and red cells from D categories

Vox Sang. 1989;57(4):261-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1423-0410.1989.tb00839.x.


The agglutination patterns have been established for the reaction between 29 monoclonal antibodies with specificity for the Rh antigen D and red cells of D categories IIIa, IIIc, IVa, IVb, Va, Vc, VI and VII, which are known to lack certain epitopes on the D polypeptide. Six different agglutination patterns were recognized and interpreted to indicate the recognition of seven different epitopes. These epitopes are termed epD1 through to epD7. The separate existence of epD6 and epD7 is deduced from previous observations in inhibition studies using purified 125I-labelled antibodies; they cannot yet be distinguished in agglutination tests. The number of epitopes lacking from cells of each category varied between two and five. As all the antibodies agglutinated cells of categories IIIa, IIIc and VII and cells of categories II, IIIb and Vb were not available, it is probable that there are epitopes other than the seven presently recognized. Eighteen out of the 29 antibodies which were examined recognized epitopes epD6/7 and it is suggested either that antibodies recognizing these epitopes predominate in polyclonal anti-D sera, or that the lymphocytes producing these antibodies are preferentially selected during establishment of cell lines.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology*
  • Epitopes / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Rh-Hr Blood-Group System / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Epitopes
  • Rh-Hr Blood-Group System
  • Rho(D) antigen