Discontinuous expression of a membrane antigen (HB-7) during B lymphocyte differentiation

Tissue Antigens. 1984 Sep;24(3):140-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0039.1984.tb02118.x.


We have examined the expression of a cell surface antigen by B lineage cells in human fetuses, newborns and adults using a newly produced monoclonal antibody, HB-7. The HB-7 antigen was found to be a protease sensitive 45,000 MW molecule that appeared to be the same molecule recognized by the OKT-10 antibody. The HB-7 reactive molecule was expressed by all fetal pre-B and B cells, and 50% of newborn blood and adult bone marrow B cells. In contrast, only a small minority of B cells (2-12%) from blood, spleen and tonsil of adults were weakly HB-7+. The pokeweed mitogen-responsive B cell precursors of plasma cells were also HB-7-, but the HB-7 antigen was re-expressed during the plasma cell stage. We conclude that this antigen is unique among known B cell differentiation antigens in its intermittent pattern of expression during B cell development. The reactivity of the HB-7 antibody with immature, but not mature, B cells makes it well suited for studies of B cell ontogeny.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte
  • Antigens, Surface / isolation & purification*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Molecular Weight
  • Pokeweed Mitogens / pharmacology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte
  • Antigens, Surface
  • Pokeweed Mitogens