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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2008 Oct 15;125(3-4):315-25. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2008.05.016. Epub 2008 May 24.

Monoclonal antibodies to equine interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha): new tools to neutralize IFN-activity and to detect secreted IFN-alpha.

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Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) is a type I interferon that is secreted during the early stages of the innate immune response and is often induced upon infection with viral pathogens. IFN-alpha production affects multiple downstream events influencing both innate and adaptive immune responses. Here, we describe the expression of an equine rIFN-alpha/IgG4 fusion protein in mammalian cells. The anti-viral activity of rIFN-alpha/IgG4 was found to be 70-fold higher than that of a previously described IFN-gamma/IgG1 as tested by bioassay. The purified rIFN-alpha was subsequently used for the generation of six monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to equine IFN-alpha. Four of these mAbs inhibited the protective anti-viral effect of equine leukocyte IFN in bioassays. One mAb (clone 240-2) showed a high-neutralizing capacity. An ELISA was established using two anti-equine IFN-alpha mAbs (clones 29B and 240-2) and its analytical sensitivity for was found to be around 800 pg/ml and 3 U/ml for rIFN-alpha and equine leukocyte IFN, respectively. When analyzing samples with a likely dominance of IFN-alpha among type I IFNs, such as supernatants from equine peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated with CpG-oligodeoxyribonucleotides, the results obtained by ELISA and IFN bioassay showed a high agreement (r(2)(sp)=0.98). When analyzing samples likely containing a mixture of type I IFNs, such as serum and nasal secretions from virally infected horses, the ELISA only detected some of the IFN-activity recorded in the bioassay. Overall, the data showed that the new anti-equine IFN-alpha mAbs are valuable tools to detect native IFN-alpha for further characterization of the early innate immune response and anti-viral immunity in horses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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