What Species Produce Monoclonal Antibodies?
Monoclonal antibodies are produced in mice, rats, hamsters, and rabbits. First, the host animal is injected with an antigen to initiate a humoral immune response. In most procedures, spleen cells from these hosts are fused in vitro with cultured malignant myeloma cells. The cell clones that survive the fusion step are known as hydridomas. Hybridomas are immortal because of their myeloma characteristics and they are easily propagated in culture.
Because of their B cell properties, some hybridoma clones continue to synthesize and secrete a single, genetically homogeneous type of antibody, the monoclonal antibody. Monoclonals are therefore homologous to natural immunoglobulins from mice, rats, hamsters, or rabbits, but they can be produced by hybridomas in vitro indefinitely. Mouse-, rat-, hamster-, and rabbit-derived hydridomas are currently the most common sources of monoclonal antibodies, and Life Technologies sells monoclonals from these species that recognize a huge selection of antigens.