Characterization of peanut-reactive monoclonal antibodies

Peter Sullivan, S. Foster, Christopher Little, C. Scott Little

Research output: Other contribution


Peanut allergies are a rising concern in Western society. Incidence and prevalence of affected children has risen from 2.16 to 6 million from 1997 to 2010. The exact cause for this increase is unknown, but lack of exposure to pathogens and increasing hygienic conditions has been implicated. Exposure to peanuts causes the immune system to become sensitized to peanut proteins, thus recognizing them as pathogens. Subsequent exposure to peanuts causes hypersensitivity reactions which may escalate to anaphylaxis and death. The only course of prevention is complete avoidance. Limiting peanut exposure is difficult as even trace amounts of peanut (100µg-50mg; 1 peanut ≈ 1g) consumed can cause a reaction. Immunotherapies aim to increase the tolerance of these severely allergic individuals. Their goals are to introduce small amounts of peanut in increasing doses in order to build a tolerance. These approaches are limited to certain populations and are potentially dangerous. Better therapeutics can only be developed through a more thorough characterization of peanut proteins responsible for peanut allergies. In this study, C3H/HeJ mice were sensitized to crude peanut extract (CPE) in conjunction with cholera toxin. The mice were then exposed to CPE to induce a hypersensitive reaction. Hybridomas were generated and characterized for antibody production, antibody subtype, and screened for peanut protein antigen-specific immunoreactivity, as well as specific peanut proteins believed to be involved with peanut allergies. Characterization of peanut-specific monoclonal antibodies (MAb) may aid in the identification of immunodominant epitopes and lead to/aid in the development of immunotherapeutic interventions
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - May 13 2015


  • Life Sciences

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