Application of Monoclonal Antibodies in Functional and Comparative Investigations of Heavy-Chain Immunoglobulins in New World Camelids
Journal - Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology
Of the three immunoglobulin G (IgG) isotypes described to occur in camelids, IgG2 and IgG3 are distinct in that they do not incorporate light chains. These heavy-chain antibodies (HCAbs) constitute approximately 50% of the IgG in llama serum and as much as 75% of the IgG in camel serum. We have produced isotype-specific mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) in order to investigate the roles of HCAbs in camelid immunity. Seventeen stable hybridomas were cloned, and three MAbs that were specific for epitopes on the ? chains of llama IgG1, IgG2, or IgG3 were characterized in detail. Affinity chromatography revealed that each MAb bound its isotype in solution in llama serum. The antibodies bound to the corresponding alpaca IgGs, to guanaco IgG1 and IgG2, and to camel IgG1. Interestingly, anti-IgG2 MAbs bound three heavy-chain species in llama serum, confirming the presence of three IgG2 subisotypes. Two IgG2 subisotypes were detected in alpaca and guanaco sera. The MAbs detected llama serum IgGs when they were bound to antigen in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and were used to discern among isotypes induced during infection with a parasitic nematode. Diseased animals, infected with Parelaphostrongylus tenuis, did not produce antigen-specific HCAbs; rather, they produced the conventional isotype, IgG1, exclusively. Our data document the utility of these MAbs in functional and physiologic investigations of the immune systems of New World camelids.