Monoclonal antibodies

Tue Dec 8 12:08:12 EST 1998

Bernard Murray wrote:
> Jay
> 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.

YOW! I've never heard of this being done. As previous posts
have detailed, the usual procedure is to fuse the B cells with
an immortal myeloma cell to generate the monoclonal antibody-
secreting hybridoma. The fusion is performed first and the
appropriate hybridoma clone isolated afterwards. It may be
possible to immortalise B cells eg. with virus but I'm not
aware that this is widely used.
This being said, it is possible to perform "in vitro
immunisation" of immune cells in culture. The main advantage
is that you require tiny amounts of antigen. The antibodies
(usually predominantly IgM) are not monoclonal unless the cells
are cloned out. This is much more tricky than "plain"
monoclonal generation.

Quite right.  What I meant was that the hybridomas are originally 
produced using B cells from the mouse.  I left out the fusion bit (a 
minor detail!!).  The point of the question originally was why use 
mice, not how to perform the protocol.

Jay Mone'

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