Monoclonal antibodies （mAb or moAb) are monospecific antibodies that are made by identical immune cells that are all clones of a unique parent cell, in contrast to polyclonal antibodies which are made from several different immune cells.
Monoclonal antibodies have monovalent affinity, in that they bind to the same epitope.
Given almost any substance, it is possible to generate monoclonal antibodies that specifically bind to that substance; they can serve detect or purify that substance. So this has been an significant tool in biochemistry, molecular biology and medicine. The non-proprietary drug name ends in–mab, when it is used as medications, and many immunotherapy specialists use the word mab anacronymically.
Now, we will introduce the production of the monoclonal antibody.
The production of monoclonal antibodies was pioneered by Georges Kohler and Cesar Milstein in 1975. Let us see how their method, now tried and tested for over 20 years, would be applied in a particular case. In order for us to isolate a B lymphocyte producing a certain antibody,we first have to include the production of such a B cell in an organism. For instance, if we need an antibody for avian SERCA2 protein, we would inject the protein into a mouse. This is typically done in two doses, an initial “priming” dose and a second “booster” dose 10days later. Since the protein is of foreign origin, the mouse immune system recognizes it as such and soon some of the B cell in the mouse would begin production of the antibody to avian SERCA2.
The uses of monoclonal antibodies
Monoclonal antibodies have a variety of academic, medical and commercial uses. It would be impossible to list all of these here. But the following list should indicate how ubiquitous monoclonal antibody technology has become in biotechnology.
- Antibodies are used in several diagnostic tests to detect small amounts of drugs, toxins or hormones, eg monoclonal antibodies to human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG）are used in pregnancy test kits. Another diagnostic uses of antibodies is the diagnosis of AIDS by the ELISA test. (Biotech, 1989)
- Antibodies are used in the radioimmunodetection and radioimmunotherapy of cancer, and some new methods can even target only the cell membranes of cancerous cells. (Chaudhari et al, 1994) A new cancer drug based on monoclonal antibody technology is Ritoxin, approved by the FDA in November 1997(Orrs, 1997)
- Monoclonal antibodies can be used to treat viral diseases, traditionally considered “untreatable”. In fact, there is some evidence to suggest that antibodies may lead to a cure for AIDS (P/S/L, 1997)
- Monoclonal antibodies can be used to classify strains of a single pathogen, eg Neisseria gonorrhoeae cna be types using monoclonal antibodies (Wang et al, 1977).
This is the function and uses of the monoclonal antibodies.