Background: Current methods for obtaining fetal cells for prenatal diagnosis are invasive and carry a small (0.5-1.0%) but definite risk of miscarriage. An attractive alternative would be isolation of fetal cells from peripheral maternal blood using antibodies with high specificity and avidity. Methods: To generate antibodies, we purified nucleated red blood cells (NRBCs) from fetal livers and used them as the immunogen to generate monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) directed against surface antigens. Results: The four antibodies recognized at least two conformationally sensitive epitopes of the transferrin receptor. Isolation of NRBCs from 252 maternal blood samples using these antibodies in magnetic activated cell sorting after an initial density gradient centrifugation yielded 0-419 NRBCs per 25 mL of maternal blood. One antibody, 2B7.4, not only isolated the highest number of NRBCs (>10 in 90% of the samples) but also isolated these NRBCs in 78 consecutive maternal samples. Conclusion: Antibody 2B7.4 shows promise for the isolation of NRBCs from maternal blood and should allow studies concerning the source of these cells, fetal vs maternal, and the factors controlling their prevalence.
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - Sep 14 1999|