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Hybrid antibodies can target sites for attack by T cells


It would be advantageous in the case of certain diseases to be able to focus a strong T-cell response at a chosen target, for example, in treating cancer or infections that have escaped the normal host response. At present, it seems inconceivable that we could use antigen-specific lines or clones of effector T cells for this purpose because of complications due to the major histocompatibility restriction of T-cell specificity and the problem of rejection of transplanted effector cells. Here we describe a novel technology which combines the power of T lymphocytes in eliminating unwanted cells and causing beneficial inflammatory reactions with the great advantages of monoclonal antibodies (their specificity and availability). We show that heteroconjugates of monoclonal antibodies (referred to hereafter as hybrid antibodies), in which one of the component binding sites is anti-T-cell receptor and the other component binding site is directed against any chosen target antigen, can focus T cells to act at the targeted site. Monoclonal antibodies directed against the T-cell receptor, such as the anti-allotype used here, are mitogenic for resting T cells and can be used to induce effector T cells carrying the T-cell receptor determinant which can then be directed against the target by a hybrid antibody.

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Staerz, U., Kanagawa, O. & Bevan, M. Hybrid antibodies can target sites for attack by T cells. Nature 314, 628–631 (1985).

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