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19-11-2012, 02:56 PM
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This paper aims at finding what monoclonal antibodies are, their descriptions and applications. This study which is library based, uses descriptive research methodology and relied principally on secondary sources of data, these sources include research publications, medical research journals, periodicals, magazines, text books and internet sources. The study discovered that monoclonal antibodies are highly specific antibodies produced in large quantities by the clones of a single hybrid cell formed in the laboratory. They are formed by fusion of a B-cell with a tumor cell. They are widely used as diagnostic and research regents commercially available monoclonal antibodies are extensively used in various fields of medicine and theurapeutics. The production of human antibodies might be possible with the use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), but limitations of this procedure are still in need of attention


Antibodies are proteins produced by the B-lymphocytes of the immune system in response to foreign proteins, called antigens. Antibodies function as markers, binding to the antigen so that the antigen molecules can be recognized and be destroyed by phagocytes. The part of the antigen that the antibodies binds to is called the epitope. The epitope is thus, a short amino acid sequence that the antibody is able to recognize (campbell 1996). According to Roche, Mark, Jones (2004), antibodies are substances that are normally produced by the body to fight infections. They recognize certain proteins on the surface of foreign or damaged cells called antigens.
Prescott, Harley, Kleins (2008), described it as any of the large variety of proteins, normally produced in response to an antigen which it neutralizes, thus producing an immune response.
On the other hand, monoclonal antibodies have been defined in medical dictionary as antibodies produced by a single clone of cells. It is therefore a single pure type of antibodies, it has also been described as any class of antibodies produced in the laboratory by a single clone of cells or a cell line and consisting of identical antibody molecules. while [glossary word (assessed 2010), defined it as an antibody that is produced consisting of a single type of immunoglobulin. On the other hand, [biotech resources, 1989), described monoclonal antibodies as the process by which large quantities of antibodies (targeted against a particular antigen) can be produced. Furthermore, it has been described as an antibody produced by a single clone of cells grown in culture, that is both pure and specific and is capable of proliferating indefinitely to produce unlimited quantities of identical antibodies used in diagnosis, therapy and biotechnology. They are also called monospecific antibodies that are made by identical immune cells that are all clones of a unique parent cell (Wikipedia, 2010). Monoclonal antibodies have monovalent affinity, in that they bind to the same epitope. Given almost any substance, it is possible to produce monoclonal antibodies that specifically bind to that substance and this has become an important tool in biochemistry, molecular biology and medicine (science citation index). According to [Prescott et al (2008), when antibodies bind to antigens, this signals to other cells in the body to kill the foreign substances, thus the value of antibodies as tools for identifying foreign substances or antigens is well established.
According to national cancer institute (NCI), monoclonalantibody isa type of protein made in the laboratory that can bind to substances in the body, including tumor cells. There are many kinds of monoclonal antibodies and each is made to find one substance. They are used to treat some types of cancer and are being studied in the treatment of other types of diseases. They can be used alone or to carry drugs, toxins or radioactive materials directly to a tumor (NCI, retrieved 10/03/2012).
The paper aims at undertaking monoclonal antibodies, their description, production and applications. The paper is divided into six sections. Section one is the introduction as above, section two is the methodology, section three is the theoretical framework, section four is production of monoclonal antibodies. Section five deals with applications and section six is the concluding part of the paper


This paper uses descriptive research methodology. The study relied principally on secondary sources of data. These sources include publications in various journals, text books, research papers, periodicals and magazines, and medical research journal findings. Internet sources, were also effectively utilized.


Historically, the idea of the “magic bullet” was first proposed by Paul Ehrich, who at the beginning of the 20th century, postulated that, if a compound could be made that is selectively targeted against a disease-causing organism then a toxin for that organism could be delivered along with the agent of selectivity. He and Elien Metchnioff received the 1908 Nobel prize for physiology/medicine for this work which led to effective treatment of syphilis by 1910.
In the 1970, the B-cell cancer multiple myeloma was known, and it was producing a single type of antibody (a para protein). This was used to study the structure of antibodies initially (at this given time, it was not yet possible to produce identical antibodies specific to a given antigen).

Production of monoclonal antibodies involving human-mouse hybrid cells was first described by Jarrold Scwaber (1973) and remains widely cited among those using human-derived hybridomas. The invention was conceived by Kohler and Milstein (1975), who shared the NobelPrize in physiological and medicine in 1984 for the discovery. The key ides was to use a line of myeloma cells that had lost their ability to secrete antibodies, come up with a technique to fuse thesecells with healthy antibody-producing B-cells, and be able to select for the successfully fused cells GregWinter (1988), in his work, lead his team in the pioneering of techniques that will be used to humanize monoclonal antibodies in order to remove the reactions that many monoclonal antibodies caused in some patients.


There are six major phases in the production of monoclonal antibodies which includes:

Immunization, fusion, screening and growing of hybridoma,Cloning, production of monoclonal antibodies (inviro and invtro) and Purification of monoclonal antibodies
Immunization: A mouse is immunized by injecting a desired antigen through intraperitoneal (IP) injections (that is administrating the desired antigen through injection in the peritoneal cavity of the mouse) is performed over a period of weeks until an appropriate antibody titer is achieved.
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