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J Biotechnol. 1990 Oct;16(1-2):67-85.

Mechanisms and kinetics of monoclonal antibody synthesis and secretion in synchronous and asynchronous hybridoma cell cultures.

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  • 1Centre for Biochemical Engineering, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, U.K.


The kinetics of monoclonal antibody synthesis and secretion have been studied in synchronous and asynchronous mouse hybridoma cell cultures. Pulse-labelling of IgG followed by immunoprecipitation and quantitation of synthesized and secreted IgG in synchronous cultures show maximum production during G1/S phases. Secretion takes place through exocytotic release of vesicle contents. Pulse-chase experiments show that 71% of the synthesized IgG is secreted within 8 h of the pulsing period and only a further 4% is secreted by 22 h. Higher specific antibody production (QA) is obtained if (a) cells are arrested and then maintained in G1/S phases, (b) viability is decreased during the death phase of batch culture, (c) the dilution rate is decreased in continuous culture or (d) cells are subjected to hydrodynamically induced stress. The increase in QA in all these cases is mainly due to the passive release of the accumulated intracellular antibody. DNA and protein synthetic activity peak during the early exponential phase and decline rapidly during mid and late exponential and death phases. Metabolic activity however peaks up to 20 h after the peak in DNA synthesis, and declines similarly during the death phase. The data are consistent with the idea that slow growth and higher death rates increase QA and that Ig secretion is probably subject to complex intracellular control.

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