The Use of Monoclonal Antibodies in Clinical Transplantation
With the introduction of monoclonal antibodies by Köhler and Milstein (1), both basic and clinical immunology have moved into a new era of fascinating new opportunities. Thus far, the basic scientists have been the primary beneficiaries. Antibodies of absolute purity and specificity allow the in vitro characterization of, and interaction with, specific molecules of the immunologically reactive cell. The antibodies are of such delicate specificity that different monoclonal antibodies can react with different epitopes of the same molecule, without steric hindrance. The in vivo application in experimental animals provided new insights into various immuno-regulatory mechanisms. Clinical medicine is beginning to utilize monoclonal antibodies as a diagnositc tool and, in first carefully controlled studies, the feasibility of their therapeutic use is being explored.
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