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Lactogenic immunity in transgenic mice producing recombinant antibodies neutralizing coronavirus

Lactogenic immunity in transgenic mice producing recombinant antibodies neutralizing coronavirus

Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 440: 675-686

Protection against coronavirus infections can be provided by the oral administration of virus neutralizing antibodies. To provide lactogenic immunity, eighteen lines of transgenic mice secreting a recombinant IgG1 monoclonal antibody (rIgG1) and ten lines of transgenic mice secreting recombinant IgA monoclonal antibodies (rIgA) neutralizing transmissible gastroenteritis coronavirus (TGEV) into the milk were generated. Genes encoding the light and heavy chains of monoclonal antibody (MAb) 6A.C3 were expressed under the control of regulatory sequences derived from the mouse genomic DNA encoding the whey acidic protein (WAP) and beta-lactoglobulin (BLG), which are highly abundant milk proteins. The MAb 6A.C3 binds to a highly conserved epitope present in coronaviruses of several species. This MAb does not allow the selection of neutralization escaping virus mutants. The antibody was expressed in the milk of transgenic mice with titers of one million as determined by RIA, and neutralized TGEV infectivity by one million fold corresponding to immunoglobulin concentrations of 5 to 6 mg per ml. Matrix attachment regions (MAR) sequences were not essential for rIgG1 transgene expression, but co-microinjection of MAR and antibody genes led to a twenty to ten thousand-fold increase in the antibody titer in 50% of the rIgG1 transgenic animals generated. Co-microinjection of the genomic BLG gene with rIgA light and heavy chain genes led to the generation of transgenic mice carrying the three transgenes. The highest antibody titers were produced by transgenic mice that had integrated the antibody and BLG genes, although the number of transgenic animals generated does not allow a definitive conclusion on the enhancing effect of BLG co-integration. Antibody expression levels were transgene copy number independent and integration site dependent. The generation of transgenic animals producing virus neutralizing antibodies in the milk could be a general approach to provide protection against neonatal infections of the enteric tract.

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Accession: 046515398

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PMID: 9782344

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