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Immunol Invest. 1994 Mar;23(2):85-98.

Production of type II collagen specific monoclonal antibodies.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Rhode Island, Kingston 02881.


Immunoassays are used for the specific measurement of type II collagen, a major cartilage protein, which is lost in osteoarthritic joints. Poor immunogenicity and species dependent immune response to type II collagen make it difficult to obtain specific antibodies required for immunoassay development. In addition, type II collagen antibodies exhibit reactivity to structurally dissimilar antigens such as actin, myoglobin, thyroglobulin and ssDNA, complicating the isolation of specific antibodies. It is therefore necessary to characterize the antibody reactivity against both noncollagenous antigens and different collagen types. In this study, immune response to type II collagen was improved by conjugation to carrier proteins, KLH and BSA. Hybridomas were generated by fusions of lymphocytes derived from lymph nodes or spleens with X63-653-Ag8 myeloma cells. Compared to spleens, the utilization of lymph nodes as a source of lymphocytes resulted in a 23% higher number of hybridomas secreting type II collagen antibodies. Hybridomas secreting polyreactive antibodies were identified based on their reactivity to thyroglobulin and eliminated. Extensive testing of the remaining monoclonal antibodies with other structurally dissimilar antigens and various types of collagen for reactivity, allowed us to isolate specific monoclonal antibodies to type II collagen. We emphasize the importance of characterization of the reactivity of type II collagen monoclonal antibodies before employing them for immunoassays.

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