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One therapeutic use for monoclonal antibody technology is the elimination of categories of unwanted cells by virtue of their distinct cell surface antigens. The efficiency of cell destruction by complement lysis or opsonization depends on a number of factors such as antibody specificity and isotype as well as certain properties of the target antigen. In some instances cells can escape destruction by redistributing and eventually losing the antigen-antibody complexes from their surface. This process, known as antigenic modulation, generally depends on bivalent antibody binding. Starting from the observation that rabbit antisera can be made more effective at killing tumour cells if they are first rendered univalent by limited proteolysis, we have now prepared a number of monovalent rat monoclonal antibodies to human cell-surface antigens. We find that these antibodies are no longer able to bring about modulation of their target antigens and have an enhanced facility for lysis with human complement. These special properties should greatly increase the therapeutic potential of monoclonal antibodies.


Journal article



Publication Date





460 - 462


Agglutination, Animals, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antigen-Antibody Complex, Antigens, Surface, Cell Line, Cytotoxicity, Immunologic, Humans, Hybridomas, Immunotherapy, Lymphocytes, Plasmacytoma, Rats, T-Lymphocytes