Scientists Develop New Way Of Creating Human Antibodies
Scientists are developing a new way of quickly creating human antibodies - called monoclonal antibodies.
When someone is exposed to an infection or a germ, body's immune system recognizes the germ as a foreign particle and starts confronting it. One of confronting actions is handles by B-cells: start creating antibodies. Each B-cell can create one type of antibody only. To create a specific antibody different B-cells create different antibodies, which later make a group of a specific meaning. This group of antibodies is called polyclonal antibody, because it is derived from multiple B-cells.
Antibodies are proteins that surround foreign particles and don't allow them to affect healthy cells. While antibodies keep particles away from healthy cells, other immune cells start destroying foreigners.
Monoclonal antibodies are already widely used by researchers, for example, in cancer drugs. However, the antibodies currently in use are derived from mice. Human body not always accepts injected antibodies - sometimes body recognizes them as foreign particles and starts attacking. Because of this conflict allergies occur leading to even worse problems when infection itself.
The key of this finding is so-called humanization of antibodies. Researchers are now able to create mouse antibodies in lab, but they can't do the same to make human antibodies, because B-cells are very complicated.
Scientists were studying human body's response to influenza vaccination, and all of a sudden they found a way of creating human antibodies in laboratory. Scientists were monitoring vaccinated individuals, when they found that a week after vaccination a powerful B-cell population - called antibody-secreting plasma cells (ASCs) - peaks. The ASCs consist of 70% vaccine-specific cells.
This means that vaccinating an individual leads to the production of such a powerful tool ASCs, which can later develop to human monoclonal antibodies. Scientists from Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and Emory University School of Medicine isolated ASC genes and produced 100 monoclonal antibodies in laboratory during a year. Each antibody took a few weeks to produce, which is a great step forward.
This newly developed way of creating human monoclonal antibodies brings major improvement to health industry. With this innovation, the processes of diagnosis, vaccination and antibody production can become faster and with significantly improve efficiency.