APPLICATIONS OF MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY TECHNOLOGY
Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka
The i m m h t i o n of laboratory animals (mice, rabbits etc) with antigen is the conventional method used to raise antibodies to the immunizing antigen. The serum ob.tained from these animals is a polyclonal serum containing antibodies to many antigenic determinants. In 1975, Kohler and ~ilstein' demonstrated that the hybridization of somatic cells could be used to establish continuous cultures of specific or monoclonal antibody (MAB) producing cells. The somatic cell hybrids are known as
... s are known as hybridomas, and are-produced by fusing in vitro B lymphocytes from the spleen of an immunized mouse with myeloma cells. The hybridoma produced acquires from its lymphocyte parent, the ability to produce a spec& antibody and from the myeloma cell parent the abiliv to be maintained in culture indefinitely. Antibody molecules produced by a single hybridoma clone are identical and are specific for a single antigenic determinant, i.e. one of many such antigenic determinants present on the target antigen. Therefore, monoclonal antibodies are chemically defined immunological reagents. Tissue cultures of hybridoma cells, which can be frozen and recovered later, have the ability to produce ascites i.e. fluid turnours, when injected into mice. This procedure enables the production of a large amount of MAB. The hybridoma technique assures a perpetual supply of specific.antibodies. It takes approximately 4-6 months to produce a stable hybridoma, and MABs are convenient, reliable.and relatively cost effective as reagents.