Hapten-induced primary and memory humoral responses are inhibited by the infusion of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (IDEC-C2B8, Rituximab)

Clin Immunol. 2001 Feb;98(2):175-9. doi: 10.1006/clim.2000.4980.


Blocking the elicited humoral immune response has proven useful in treating individuals with autoimmune disorders or those who are at risk of developing antibodies which might be pathologic, e.g., transplant patients. Unfortunately, humoral immunity has evaded efforts at ablation and those therapies aimed at ameliorating it have resulted in only partial success. In addition, some of the current anti-humoral therapies not only target B-cells but also cross-react with other elements of immune response, making these therapies nonspecific. Thus there is a need in the clinical arena for specific anti-humoral therapies. Here we report the impact of infusion of a chimeric monoclonal, an anti-CD20 IgG, on the primary humoral and memory response against a simple hapten (DNP) in a nonhuman primate model. Anti-CD20 IgG interfered with the elicited humoral response and with the memory response when administered prior to antigen exposure. Furthermore, we provide evidence that anti-CD20 blocks the humoral response by eliminating those B-cells capable of responding to the hapten.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antibody Formation / drug effects*
  • Antigens, CD19 / analysis
  • Antigens, CD20 / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / drug effects*
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • Dinitrobenzenes / immunology*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Haptens / immunology*
  • Hemocyanins / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunization
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Immunoglobulin Class Switching / drug effects
  • Immunoglobulin G / pharmacology*
  • Immunologic Memory / drug effects*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / immunology
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / pharmacology*
  • Papio
  • Rituximab


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antigens, CD19
  • Antigens, CD20
  • Dinitrobenzenes
  • Haptens
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • 1,2-dinitrobenzene
  • Rituximab
  • Hemocyanins
  • keyhole-limpet hemocyanin