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Developmental Immunology
Volume 4, Issue 3, Pages 227-234

Somatic Mutations During an Immune Response in Xenopus Tadpoles

1Department of Microbiology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, Mississippi 39216-4505, USA
2Basel Institute for Immunology, Grenzacherstrasse 487, Basel CH-4005, Switzerland

Received 16 February 1995; Accepted 5 May 1995

Copyright © 1995 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The tadpole B-cell repertoire is less diverse than that of the adult frog; their antibodies are of lower affinity and are less heterogenous. In order to determine whether this difference is due to a lack of or a reduced rate of somatic hypermutation, we analyzed and compared cDNA sequences utilizing VH1 elements with germline counterparts in isogenic LG7 tadpoles during an immune response. Indeed, tadpole VH1 sequences contained somatic mutations. There were zeo to 5 mutations per sequence, all single base-point mutations, with the high ratio of GC to AT base-pair alterations similar to that observed in adult frogs.