Quantification of the Neutralization of Cytokine Biological Activity by Antibody: The Ten-Fold Reduction Bioassay of Interleukin-6 as Growth Factor
AbstractThe measurement of neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) to biological therapeutic agents is important clinically as well as for the preclinical evaluation of product immunogenicity. To determine whether the theoretical concepts and experimental data from studies of the nature of antibody neutralization of interferons (IFNs) can apply to unrelated protein effector molecules, neutralization experiments were undertaken with interleukin-6 (IL-6), a proinflammatory, highly pleiotropic cytokine. By following IL-6 induction of hybridoma cell growth, we demonstrated that anti-IL-6 monoclonal and polyclonal NAbs can be measured with a bioassay design structured to reduce 10 Laboratory Units (LU)/mL to 1 LU/mL. Results are reported in Ten-fold Reduction Units (TRU)/mL, as recommended for the standardization of IFN NAb unitage. The bioassay was shown to be sensitive, reproducible, and robust in measuring IL-6 potency and NAb titer, as well as for evaluating dose–response curve slope differences. This bioassay design should be applicable to any cytokine, growth factor, protein hormone, or similar effector molecules for which an adequately sensitive cellular response can be quantified.