Biodistribution mechanisms of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies in health and disease

AAPS J. 2010 Mar;12(1):33-43. doi: 10.1208/s12248-009-9157-5. Epub 2009 Nov 19.


The monoclonal antibody market continues to witness an impressive rate of growth and has become the leading source of expansion in the biologic segment within the pharmaceutical industry. Currently marketed monoclonal antibodies target a diverse array of antigens. These antigens are distributed in a variety of tissues such as tumors, lungs, synovial fluid, psoriatic plaques, and lymph nodes. As the concentration of drug at the proximity of the biological receptor determines the magnitude of the observed pharmacological responses, a significant consideration in effective therapeutic application of monoclonal antibodies is a thorough understanding of the processes that regulate antibody biodistribution. Monoclonal antibody distribution is affected by factors such as molecular weight, blood flow, tissue and tumor heterogeneity, structure and porosity, target antigen density, turnover rate, and the target antigen expression profile.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacokinetics*
  • Antibody Affinity
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism
  • Bone Marrow / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Joints / metabolism
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lymph Nodes / metabolism
  • Spleen / metabolism
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal