Monoclonal Antibodies Directed Toward the Developing Beta Cell
Stem/progenitor cells offer the promise that transplantable beta cells may be generated ex vivo. For this promise to be realized, stem/progenitor cells will need to be isolated and expanded, they will need to be differentiation toward the beta cell lineage, and the differentiated cell progeny used for transplantation may need to be isolated from complex cell mixtures following expansion/differentiation. A comprehensive panel of monoclonal antibodies directed against cell surface molecules expressed by endoderm and/or developing endocrine cells from the mouse and man will be extremely useful. Substantial progress has been made by the MADBETA CBP project team in development of polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies targeting cell surface molecules on developing and mature pancreatic cells as well as embryonic stem cell-derived definitive endoderm for both mouse and human. Development of these reagents has relied on innovative immunization methods, on the availability of enriched embryonic stem cell-derived target cell populations, and on antibody screening strategies that facilitate rapid identification of cell population-specific antibodies. Further characterization of these newly developed antibodies is in progress.