Antibodies, also known as an immunoglobulin (Ig) are glycoproteins produced by differentiated B lymphocytes (plasma cells), which respond to their exposure to antigens. The antibody responses to different antigens are due to the gene combination process situated in the hyper-variable regions of the antibodies. Antibodies such as CSF1R antibody undergo gene rearrangement during recombination in their genes. And this allows for diverse binding of the antibodies to antigens.
In several therapeutic and diagnostic applications, high specificity and diverse antibodies have made them popular molecules with high efficiencies.
What are monoclonal antibodies?
Monoclonal antibodies are known as moAbs or mAbs for short. They are proteins developed in the laboratories acting like the proteins known as antibodies in the body. These antibodies are part of the body’s immune system that detects the antigens (foreign substances) and attach them to destroy them. These antibodies are called monoclonal because they are clones of the antibodies and are made in the laboratory, the exact copies of one antibody. These antibodies are meant to stimulate the immune system in the body. These monoclonal antibodies are a group of antibodies like the Il10 antibody produced based on identical clones of B lymphocytes against a specific antigen.
Several properties make monoclonal antibodies identical, and those properties are in protein sequence, antigens binding site regions, binding affinity for their target, and identical downstream functional effects.
In various diseases and health conditions, monoclonal antibodies have become a novel way used in targeting antigens. Orthotone OKT3® (muromonab-CD3) was the first mAb to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1986. This monoclonal antibody was meant to treat acute transplant rejection.
In clinical trials, mAbs has become an important group for treating therapeutic molecules. Different disorders including inflammatory and autoimmune diseases (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel diseases), malignancies (e.g. leukemia, melanoma, breast cancer, and multiple myeloma), cardiovascular, and infectious diseases are being diagnosed and treated with mAbs.
How monoclonal antibodies are used
It has been established that monoclonal antibodies have become essential in diagnosis, treatment, and research. mAbs are used
- As probes in identifying materials in laboratories or home-testing kits like those used for pregnancy and ovulation.
- To type the tissue and blood to be used in transplants.
- For diagnosis
- For treatment of different ailments
- They are also used in the diagnosis of lymphoid and myeloid malignancies
- Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
- Serotyping of microorganisms.
- Immunological intervention with passive antibody
- Antiidiotype inhibition, or magic bullet therapy with cytotoxic agents coupled with the anti-mouse specific antibody.
Types of diseases that can be treated with monoclonal antibodies
Since the first approved monoclonal antibody in 1986, it has been used to treat several diseases up to date. Some of the conditions that have been treated with it are
- Organ transplant rejection.
- Inflammatory and autoimmune disorders (including allergies).
- Diverse Infections (including COVID-19).
- Eye conditions.
- High cholesterol.
- Nervous system disorders.
How monoclonal antibodies are used
Using mAbs is given mostly as an intravenous (IV) solution that is injected into the vein. Monoclonal antibodies are mostly given when several people get treatment at infusion centers. Monoclonal antibodies can be given as therapy themselves. These procedures are known as naked monoclonal antibodies. It can also be made into radioactive particles and administered as therapy and other drugs. These procedures are conjugated, tagged, loaded, or labelled monoclonal antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies can also be modified to and attached to attack two specific antigens simultaneously. This use procedure of monoclonal antibodies is known as bispecific.
Applications of monoclonal antibodies
Applications of mAbs in cancer therapy
Monoclonal antibodies could be developed mainly against a target antigen that is found on cancer cells. After discovering proto-oncogenes and specific tumour antigens, several therapeutic mAbs have been endorsed against different cancer types. MAB 17-1A antibody was approved against epithelial cell surface antigen and efficiently reduces the mortality and occurrence rate of colorectal cancer. Rituximab, an anti-CD20 chimeric antibody, treats non-Hodgkin B cell lymphoma. Rituximab interacts with CD20 antigen expressed on B cell tumours and then eliminates malignant cells through an effective immune response.
Anti-TNF monoclonal antibodies
TNF-a is seen as a vital cytokine involved in the pathogenesis of numerous disorders like RA, Crohn’s disease, and spondyloarthritides. As a result, an anti-TNF agent is an efficient approach that is used in the treatment of these diseases. TNF antibody that interacts with soluble and transmembrane forms of TNF-a. This results in the inhibiting of proinflammatory cascade signalling. The production of proinflammatory cytokines like IL-1, IL-6, and IL-8 can inhibit TNF-a. Infliximab was accepted to treat Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and ulcerative colitis. Other anti-TNF mAbs have also been approved for the treatment of autoimmune disorders. These monoclonal antibodies consist of adalimumab, golimumab, and certolizumab.