Why Choose Rabbit Monoclonal Antibodies?

Tue, 05/25/2010 - 07:58

Although monoclonal antibodies are still conventionally raised against mice, using rabbits as hosts for raising monoclonal antibodies is becoming increasingly popular. We at Novus Biologicals have numerous rabbit monoclonal antibodies in our antibody catalog. The principle for making rabbit monoclonals is similar to the way mice monoclonals are produced. Hybridoma cells are created by the fusion of rabbit B-cells and fusion partner cells, a procedure similar to that of mice hosts. However, creating a transgene plasmacytoma cell line proves to be a necessary but difficult procedure to produce functional fusion partner cells. The hybridoma cells are then screened to select clones with the greatest affinity to the antigen being studied, before being purified and individualized (e.g. by conjugation to a fluorescent dye). There are a number of advantages to using rabbit monoclonal antibodies instead of those from mice. By using rabbit monoclonal antibodies, the problem of certain proteins being recognized as self-antigens in humans and mice is avoided. Rabbit monoclonals also have an improved immune response to small epitopes, recognition of a more diverse range of epitopes and a better response to mouse antigens. In general, therefore, rabbit monoclonal immunoglobulins give a better reaction to antigens than those from rodents such as mice. Using rabbit monoclonal antibodies is particularly advantageous for more accurate immunohistochemistry results. The useful qualities of using rabbit monoclonal antibodies are attributed to the rabbit’s immune system, which is able to generate a larger range of high affinity antibodies, compared to mice. This makes the chance of finding immunoglobulins that are able to function in a range of applications far more likely. In addition, many of the smaller peptides that elicit a poor response in mice generate a favorable one in rabbits. For these reasons, rabbit monoclonal antibodies are becoming more preferred in research and clinical applications. As the procedure for producing of these antibodies becomes more widespread, the use of them will most likely overshadow the use of their mouse counterparts.

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