5-15% of lymphocytes in the peritoneums of normal adult B10.H-2aH-4bp/Wts (2a4b) mice are CD5+ (Ly-1) B cells that recognize phosphatidyl choline (PtC), a phospholipid component of all mammalian cells. We produced a set of IgM-secreting hybridomas from the peritoneal cells of normal, adult 2a4b mice. We found that this set of hybridomas shows a similarly high frequency of antibodies specific for PtC (21 of 86) that also react with bromelain-treated mouse erythrocytes. Restriction fragment analysis of Ig gene rearrangements and analysis of expressed Ig idiotypes reveal that these cells use a restricted set of variable region genes to generate the PtC-specific antibodies. The Ig genes used by the PtC-specific hybridomas appear to be the same as those found in the PtC-specific Ly-1 B cell lymphomas, CH27 and CH34.