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Cytotechnology. 1997 Jan;23(1-3):5-12. doi: 10.1023/A:1007959400666.

Changes in monoclonal antibody productivity of recombinant BHK cells immobilized in collagen gel particles.

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Department of Biochemical Engineering and Science, Faculty of Computer Science and Systems Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Iizuka, 820, Fukyoka, Japan.


Animal cell perfusion high density culture is often adopted for the production of biologicals in industry. In high density culture sometimes the productivity of biologicals has been found to be enhanced. Especially in immobilized animal cell culture, significant increase in the productivity has been reported. We have found that the specific monoclonal antibody (MAb) productivity of an immobilized hybridoma cell is enhanced more than double. Several examples of enhancing productivities have been also shown by collagen immobilized cells. Immobilized cells involve some different points from non-immobilized cells in high density culture: In immobilized culture, some cells are contacted together, resulting in locally much higher cell concentration more than 10(8) cells/ml. Information originating from a cell can be easily transduced to the others in immobilized culture because the distance between cells is much nearer. Here we have performed collagen gel immobilized culture of recombinant BHK cells which produce a human IgG monoclonal antibody in a protein-free medium for more than three months. In this high density culture a stabilized monoclonal antibody production was found with around 8 times higher specific monoclonal antibody productivity compared with that in a batch serum containing culture. No higher MAb productivity was observed using a conditioned medium which was obtained from the high density culture, indicating that no components secreted from the immobilized cells work for enhancing monoclonal antibody production. The MAb productivity by the non-immobilized cells obtained by dissolving collagen using a collagenase gradually decreased and returned to the original level in the batch culture using a fresh medium. This suggests that the direct contact of the cells or a very close distance between the cells has something to do with the enhancement of the MAb productivity, and the higher productivity is kept for a while in each cell after they are drawn apart.

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