Human monoclonal antibodies may be generated by electrofusion of human B lymphocytes with a human/mouse heteromyeloma line. In addition to a fusion protocol optimised for the fusion partners, the activation of B lymphocytes is crucial for fusion and hybrid efficiency. In this study, we initially treated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from normal blood donors with a large panel of known stimulants and determined the yield of human antibody-secreting hybridomas after electrofusion with the heteromyeloma cell line H73C11; 3- to 5-day incubation with phytohaemagglutinin L (PHA-L) resulted in the highest number of secreting hybrids. In a second set of experiments, PBMC were depleted from various cell populations, including CD14+ monocytes, CD8+ T lymphocytes, and CD2+ T cells, respectively. Undepleted PBMC stimulated with PHA-L were shown to give rise to the highest number of secreting hybridomas when subjected to electrofusion, whereas depletion of CD2+ T lymphocytes greatly reduced the yield. In a final set of experiments, CD19+ B lymphocytes were identified as the major source of secreting hybridomas. For optimal fusion efficiency, CD19+ B cells were shown to require direct physical contact with other cell populations, most probably T lymphocytes, during the stimulation process. Our data highlight the importance of an adequate stimulation prior to electrofusion and may be helpful to further facilitate the development of human monoclonal antibodies.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)