A novel method for making human monoclonal antibodies

J. Fraussen, K. Vrolix, P. Martinez-Martinez, M. Losen, Els Meulemans, M. H. De Baets, P. Stinissen, V. Somers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We have developed a B cell immortalization method for low B cell numbers per well using simultaneous B cell stimulation by CpG2006 and B cell infection by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), followed by an additional CpG2006 and interleukin-2 (IL-2) stimulus. Using this method, immunoglobulin G (IgG)-producing immortalized B cell lines were generated from peripheral blood IgG(+)CD22(+) B cells with an efficiency of up to 83%. Antibody can already be obtained from the culture supernatant after 3-4 weeks. Moreover, clonality analysis demonstrated monoclonality in 87% of the resulting immortalized B cell lines. Given the high immortalization efficiency and monoclonality rate, evidence is provided that no further sub-cloning is necessary. An important application of this B cell immortalization method is the characterization of (autoreactive) antibodies from patients with autoimmune disease. This could eventually lead to the identification of new autoantigens, disease markers or targets for therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130-134
JournalJournal of Autoimmunity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


  • B cell immortalization
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • B cell spectratyping


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