Monoclonal antibodies are genetically engineered antibodies which are developed in the laboratory. These are synthesized from the B cells which are the specific cells for making antibodies and are present in the immune system of the body. Monoclonal antibodies are of much importance in both medicine and economics.
Production of Monoclonal antibodies:-
Production of monoclonal antibodies takes place in the laboratory. First method of monoclonal antibodies was designed by two scientists, W. Kohler and C. Milstein. In their procedure,
1) Myeloma cells which are the tumor cells fused with spleen cells which are taken from a mouse produced in the laboratory.
2) The cell produced as a result of fusion of both the cells is called as hybridoma.
3) Hybridoma contained the characteristics of both the cells that is myeloma and spleen cells and could be grown further in the laboratory. It had the ability of producing the antibody which had characteristics of both the parents. They named this antibody as monoclonal antibody.
4) For the further production of hybridoma, they can be inserted into mice.
Uses of monoclonal antibodies:-
Treatment of Cancer:-
1) Like many other techniques used in the cancer treatment, monoclonal antibodies can also be used to treat the disease of cancer. In treatment, the antibody binds only to these antigens which are present in the cancerous cells. After binding to the antigens, antibodies release an immunological response to the target cells which are cancerous. They attack those antigens by this method and either completely destroy them or disable them to function properly.
2) Cancer can be treated with the immunoliposomes which are the antibody conjugated. The liposomes have the ability to bind with the monoclonal antibodies and are helpful in carrying the drugs or therapeutic nucleotides. Liposomes along with the monoclonal antibodies attack the malignant cells. Immunoliposomes have been successfully used in vivo to carry the gene which suppresses the tumor activity in the body.
Monoclonal antibodies can be used to treat many autoimmune diseases. For example, rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative Colitis and some other diseases can also be treated with the monoclonal antibody therapy. In the treatment, monoclonal antibodies bind to the TNF-a, and block them from performing any functions against the body.
Issues of Monoclonal antibodies:-
As we know that monoclonal antibodies were produced using the spleen cells of mouse, when these antibodies were inserted into the human body, the body's immune system showed reaction against these antibodies. The immune system did not accept these antibodies and marked them as foreign. Due to this reason, the immune system blocked their activity in the body and completely destroyed them. The therapeutic antibodies which were inserted in the body, immune system rejected them too because they could cause damage to the kidneys. But genetic engineering made it possible to design those monoclonal antibodies which mouse-human hybrid. This reduced the immune system rejection problem. Two types of antibodies were designed:
1) The antibody of designed from mouse combined the active parts of the antigen with the antibody of humans and then they became acceptable for the human immune system. These are called as chimeric antibodies.
2) In this method, the amino acid of the antigen is attached with the human antibody by the foreign antibody. This amino acid is responsible for developing the antigen binding site. Such antibodies are called as humanized antibodies.
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