Monoclonal vs Polyclonal Ab

hansen at hansen at
Thu Dec 3 13:36:40 EST 1998

On 30 Nov 1998 14:57:55 GMT, hoekstra at (Ken Hoekstra)

>jaymone (jaymone at PAONLINE.COM) wrote:
>: Ken
>: When an animal is immunized with an antigen, it responds by making Abs
>: of many different specificities directed against the many epitopes
>: contained in a complex antigen.  This is a polyclonal Ab response.
>: If one can isolate a single b cell producing a single Ab specificity,
>: you will then have a monoclonal Ab.  Mice are used to produce monoclonal
>: Abs due to technical reasons.  However, human and other species of
>: monoclonal Abs have been produced.
>: Jay Mone'
>Are mice then used to produce monoclonal Abs for consistancy, easy of 
>use, etc. reasons? You surely dont get much serum (antibody) from a mouse 
>as compared to a rabbit or cow.

Monoclonal antibodies are made from cultured  B cells. Once the single
cell which secretes the monoclonal is isolated, it can be maintained
in culture for long periods of time. Polyclonal antibodies are
generally  isolated from the serum of rabbits, donkeys, horses
innoculated with the apropriate antigen.  The larger the animal the
greater volume of serum (and the corresponding POLYCLONAL Ab).
Although for most private research applications even mouse serum with
a high titer of Ab can be a significant source of polyclonal Ab it is
used in very dilute concentrations


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