Presence of a non-HLA B cell antigen in rheumatic fever patients and their families as defined by a monoclonal antibody
Antigens, Differentiation, B-Lymphocyte
Numerous investigators have suspected that there is a genetic predisposition to rheumatic fever (RF). In this context we have recently produced a series of monoclonal antibodies directed against B cells obtained from RF patients one of which, labeled D8/17, identifies a B cell antigen present in 100% of all RF patients studied. While the highest percentage of positive cells were exhibited by RF probands (33.5% +/- SE), the percentage of cells in unaffected siblings and parents was 14.6 and 13%, respectively. The percentage of positive cells in APSGN probands, unaffected siblings, and parents was 2.96, 3.86, and 2.8%, respectively. A low level of B cells (5-7%) bearing the D8/17 marker was seen in control patients. The segregation pattern of the phenotypes defined by the percentage of D8/17 positive cells within HLA-typed RF families are consistent with an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance not associated with the human MHC system. We postulate that these phenotypes indicate the presence of at least one necessary genetic factor for susceptibility to RF.