Antilymphocyte Serum

Goran Sandberg, Lymphocyte Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

Anti-lymphocyte serum (ALS) is a serum which contains antibodies against lymphocytes, and is usually prepared in horse, goat or rabbit by immunization with human lymphoid cells. ALS may be obtained by immunization with, for example, lymph node cells, T cell lines, B cell lymphoblasts, thoracic duct lymphocytes or thymocytes. In the latter case the produced serum is referred to as antithymocyte serum (ATS). Most often, the immunoglobulin (Ig) fractions of ALS or ATS were isolated and used as anti-lymphocyte globulin (ALG) or antithymocyte globulin (ATG). Removal of cross-reacting antibodies (such as to erythrocytes or platelets) reduces the side-effects. Some frequently used preparations are ATGAM (equine ATG), Lymfoser, Minnesota anti-iymphoblast globulin (MALG), and different RATG (rabbit ATG) preparations, such as ATG Fresenius, Nashville antithymocyte serum (nATS), and thymo-globulin. In this text, all these different preparations are referred to as ALS. With modern techniques, highly specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against different cell surface molecules have been prepared, and are used in a similar fashion as ALS. Both with polyclonal ALS and mAbs, the effects may be counteracted by sensitization against the xenogeneic proteins.

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