- Monoclonal antibody
- An antibody produced by a single clone of cells (specifically, a single clone of hybridoma cells) and therefore a single pure homogeneous type of antibody. Monoclonal antibodies can be made in large amounts in the laboratory and are a cornerstone of immunology. The term "monoclonal" pertains to a single clone of cells, a single cell and the progeny of that cell. History: In 1975 César Milstein and Georges Köhler, working at the University of Cambridge, devised a laboratory technique for making monoclonal antibodies. They wanted to have long-lived cell lines that would make antibodies of a single kind. Antibody-producing cells could be harvested from the spleen of mice that had been exposed to a known antigenic protein but these cells only grew transiently in the laboratory. They also had mouse myeloma cells, tumor cells that would grow indefinitely in the laboratory and produce immunoglobulin, the substance of antibody, but not make a pure antibody. Milstein and Köhler fused the mouse spleen cells with the mouse myeloma cells in the hope that one would bring to the union the antibody specificity they needed, while the other would make the "hybridoma" cells immortal. Their hope was realized. For their discovery, Milstein and Köhler shared the 1984 Nobel Prize in Medicine.
* * *an antibody produced artificially from a cell clone and therefore consisting of a single type of immunoglobulin. Monoclonal antibodies are produced by fusing antibody-forming lymphocytes from mouse spleen with mouse myeloma cells. The resulting hybrid cells multiply rapidly (like cancer cells) and produce the same antibody as their parent lymphocytes. Monoclonal antibodies can be used for treating some malignant tumours (e.g. brain tumours, breast cancer, lymphoma, and leukaemia), which can be targeted by these antibodies (known colloquially as 'magic bullets'). See also infliximab, rituximab, trastuzumab.
Medical dictionary. 2011.