Production of antibodies
Antibodies or immunoglobulins are currently one of the molecules with the most applications both in industry and in biomedical research.
Polyclonal antibodies are a heterogeneous mixture of antibodies produced by different clones of B lymphocytes in the body. They can recognize and bind to many different epitopes on a single antigen.
These antibodies are produced by injecting an immunogen into the animal. Although the rabbit is the most widespread in its use, there are other species, such as mouse, chicken or llama. After being injected with the specific antigen to give a primary immune response, successive immunizations will be given, under optimal conditions, in order to produce the highest antibody titers against the desired antigen. After immunization, polyclonal antibodies can be obtained directly as “antiserum” or purified to obtain free of other serum proteins.
Monoclonal antibodies are generated by identical B cells, that is, clones. This means that monoclonal antibodies have specific affinity and recognize the single and same epitope of an antigen.
Unlike polyclonal antibodies, the production of monoclonal antibodies occurs in cell culture, that is, in an “immortal” way. The process begins with an injection of the desired antigen into a mouse. After developing an immune response, the B lymphocytes are isolated from the spleen of the animal and fused (hybridized) with a myeloma cell line, creating immortalized hybridomas.