Monoclonal Antibodies

Monoclonal antibodies (mAb or moAb) are antibodies that are made by identical immune cells that are all clones of a unique parent cell. Monoclonal antibodies can have monovalent affinity, in that they bind to the same epitope (the part of an antigen that is recognized by the antibody).

Monoclonal antibodies are produced from a single B-cell clone. They recognize certain epitopes or binding sites on an antigen. These antibodies recognize only a single antigen such a protein. These proteins have common epitopes. These antibodies are generated by using in vitro tissue-culture techniques.

Production

Lab animals such as rats are immunized to produced these antibodies. Immunization can be done single time or multiple times with a specific antigen. Then B cell is collected from the spleen of an immunized animal. These B cells are fused with cancerous cells to enhance their proliferation and to produce hybridoma cells. These cells are grown in a specific medium. These cells continue to grow and yield antibodies and then screened for the required monoclonal antibodies. Those cultures producing the desired mAbs are harvested and purified from the medium.

Advantages

  • A large number of identical antibodies can be produced.
  • They are very specific to a single epitope.
  • It gives good results in assays in which we need to quantify the protein levels.
  • There are very fewer chances for cross-reactivity.
  • Different batches of these antibodies produced at different times are homogeneous.

Disadvantages

  • Its production is time-consuming and very expensive.
  • Any small change in epitope may lead to the failure in the identification of targeted antigen.
  • It takes more time to detect or target a specific antigen.
  • These antibodies are very sensitive to pH and other buffer conditions.

Diagnostic and Therapeutic Uses

Diagnostic Application: used for the detection of any targeted protein by blotting or immune fluorescence. Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) are also used in the detection of deep vein thrombosis, CVD, locate metastatic tumors, pregnancy kits, and immunosuppressive therapy.

Monoclonal antibodies (mAb) also have various therapeutic applications such as its use in cancer, drug and toxin immune conjugates, inflammatory disease and radioisotope immune conjugates.

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