Anti-idiotypic antibody as an oestrogen mimetic: Removal of F(c) fragment converts agonist to antagonist

D. Somjen, Y. Amir-Zaltsman, B. Gayer, G. Mor, N. Jaccard, Y. Weisman, G. Barnard, F. Kohen

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10 Scopus citations


Previous studies indicated that the anti-idiotypic antibody (clone 1D5) caused an increase in uterine creatine kinase (CK) activity when administered in viva to immature female rats, indicating that the antibody has oestrogenic-like activity. It was, therefore, of interest to investigate the structural requirements of clone 1D5 to act as an oestrogen mimetic in an in vitro model system. In the present study, the effect of clone 1D5 and its proteolytic fragments, F(ab')2, Fab' and F(c) on CK activity was examined in cultured skeletal cells having functional oestrogen receptor (ER). Incubation of female-derived calvaria cells or epiphyseal cartilage cells with clone 1D5 (8.33 nM) or oestradiol (E2) (30 μM) for 24 h caused a significant increase in CK activity, indicating that clone 1D5 acted as an agonist. On the other hand, incubation of male-derived calvaria cells devoid of a functional ER with clone 1D5 or E2 did not have any effect on CK activity. Incubation of female-derived calvaria cells with clone 1D5 and E2 did not result in any further increase in CK activity, whereas dihydrotestosterone (DHT) did not alter the response to clone 1D5. The CK response to clone 1D5, in female-derived calvaria cells was time- and dose-dependent and could be inhibited in a dose-dependent manner by the oestrogen antagonist tamoxifen. In contrast, the proteolytic fragments of clone 1D5, the F(ab')2 dimer (12 nM) and the Fab' monomer (24 nM), and the F(c) fragment (28 nM) did not have E2-like activity in these cells. However, while the Fab' monomer or the F(c) fragment, as well as clone 1D5, did not affect the response of the female-derived calvaria cells to E2, the F(ab')2 dimer acted like an antagonist and completely inhibited the stimulatory effect of E2 or 1D5, but was unable to block the stimulatory effect of DHT on CK in male-derived calvaria cells. Collectively, these results imply that a bivalent antibody is necessary for the observed physiological responses, and that the antiidiotypic antibody can be converted from an agonist to an antagonist by removal of the F(c) portion of the antibody molecule. Furthermore, the anti-idiotypic antibody has an oestrogenic-like effect inhibited by tamoxifen only in skeletal cells capable of responding to E2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-416
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995


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