Stable long-term cultures of self-renewing B cells and their applications

Mark J. Kwakkenbos, Pauline M. van Helden, Tim Beaumont, Hergen Spits

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Monoclonal antibodies are essential therapeutics and diagnostics in a large number of diseases. Moreover, they are essential tools in all sectors of life sciences. Although the great majority of monoclonal antibodies currently in use are of mouse origin, the use of human B cells to generate monoclonal antibodies is increasing as new techniques to tap the human B cell repertoire are rapidly emerging. Cloned lines of immortalized human B cells are ideal sources of monoclonal antibodies. In this review, we summarize our studies to the regulation of the replicative life span, differentiation, and maturation of B cells that led to the development of a platform that uses immortalization of human B cells by in vitro genetic modification for antibody development. We describe a number of human antibodies that were isolated using this platform and the application of the technique in other species. We also discuss the use of immortalized B cells as antigen-presenting cells for the discovery of tumor neoantigens
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-77
JournalImmunological Reviews
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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