More than 20 years ago, a new in vitro alternative was developed for
production of monoclonal antibodies. Because of its simplicity and
importance, this technique was widely adopted and used in nearly every
field of biomedical research and biotechnology. For similar reasons, a
new form of laboratory animal cruelty and suffering was also created the
use of ascites methods to produce antibodies.
For the last decade, researchers in Europe and the United States have
systematically developed, validated, and adopted multiple in vitro
replacements for the use of rodent ascites. This process of technique
development has progressed to the point that it is now possible to
prohibit use of ascites in all but the most unusual and rare
Replacement of animals (either intact, cells, or serum) in production
of MAbs will finally allow for implementation of the humane
possibilities of Kohler and Milstein's original discovery, replace a
method widely acknowledged to be cruel with more humane options, and
promote a greater understanding and acceptance of the alternatives
approach to planning and conducting biomedical research (16).
For additional information on alternatives in biomedical research,
testing and education, or to subscribe to our complimentary newsletter,
please contact: John McArdle, Ph.D., Director, Alternatives Research &
Development Foundation, 14280 Golf View Drive, Eden Prairie, MN
55346-3000, USA, phone: 612-949-2409, fax: 612-949-2619.