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Explain how Monoclonal Antibodies can be produced and how they can be used to target specific cells and chemicals.

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Introduction

Rohit Gumber Explain how Monoclonal Antibodies can be produced and how they can be used to target specific cells and chemicals. Animals have the ability to recognise foreign and harmful molecules entering their bodies. Efforts are made to isolate and expel such foreign molecules. The immune system is the major defence mechanism against substances that have gained entry. A substance capable of initiating an adaptive immune response is called an "antigen". The body's reaction to the recognition of this antigen is to manufacture a protein called an antibody. An antibody, recognising an antigen, links to it by a series of chemical bonds. These bonds are individually very weak (non-covalent) but their number overcomes this weakness. The locking of an antibody and its antigen is a bit like the linking of enzymes and substrate. The combination of the two molecules sets in motion a series of events within the body, which results in the elimination of the antigen from the body. ...read more.

Middle

The clone could be isolated and grown under laboratory conditions by cell culture. In this way, the cloned B-lymphocytes would continue to produce the antibody, which could be collected from the culture. However, most attempts to grow clones of B-lymphocytes in the laboratory have failed. What is required therefore is to develop some method by which antibody producing B-lymphocytes can grow freely and well in laboratory culture. In 1975, K�hler and Milstein demonstrated that mouse tumour cells could be fused with B-lymphocytes and the resultant hybrids produced antibodies. When the fusion process is complete, the daughter cells are known as "hybridomas". The characteristics required are immortality from the tumour cell and antibody production from the B-lymphocyte. Thus, hybridisation techniques allow immunoglobulin-producing cells to be immortalised. However, they do not determine which lymphocyte is being immortalised. To achieve this K�hler and Milstein developed the technique of immunising their experimental animal with the relevant antigen by injection. ...read more.

Conclusion

Monoclonal antibodies can play a role in identifying antigens present in minute quantities, such as those that may be present on cancer cells. They target and bind to antigens in the body which may trigger a patient's natural defences, which then attack and destroy the foreign material. In addition, monoclonal antibodies can be therapeutically active on their own, or can be attached to chemotherapeutic agents, toxins, or radioisotopes that may enhance destruction of the target cell. Under investigation is the use of monoclonal antibodies for immunisation, for typing tissue used in transplants and for targeting drugs to specific sites in the body. Monoclonal antibodies are immunoglobulins that are of immense value and interest because the method of their production allows the manufacture of endless quantities of a single antibody against an antigen which may be specially selected. This not only allows us to make advances in our understanding of the basic principles of the working of the immune system, but also offers the possibility that such knowledge will enable new methods of diagnosis and therapy to be created. ...read more.

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