Monoclonal Antibody Production
Process by which large quantities of antibodies (targeted against a particular
antigen X) can be produced.
A mouse is immunized by injection of an antigen X to stimulate the production
of antibodies targeted against X. The antibody forming cells are isolated
from the mouse's spleen.
Monoclonal antibodies are produced by fusing single antibody-forming
cells to tumor cells grown in culture. The resulting cell is called a hybridoma.
Each hybridoma produces relatively large quantities of identical antibody
molecules. By allowing the hybridoma to multiply in culture, it is possible
to produce a population of cells, each of which produces identical antibody
molecules. These antibodies are called "monoclonal antibodies"
because they are produced by the identical offspring of a single, cloned
antibody producing cell.
Once a monoclonal antibody is made, it can be used as a specific
probe to track down and purify the specific protein that induced