Bovine colostrum or milk as a serum substitute for the cultivation of a mouse hybridoma



A mouse–mouse hybridoma was grown in serum-free medium supplemented with bovine milk or colostrum. Bovine colostrum supported growth of the hybridoma whereas bovine milk alone did not support cellular proliferation. For growth in medium supplemented with colostrum, the maximum cell concentration achieved was 1.4 × 106 cells/mL in 2.2% colostrum, which is 44% of that obtained in 9% serum. When cells were grown in media containing milk and low amounts of serum (<1%) the maximum cell concentration in 2.2% milk with 0.4% serum was 2 × 106 cells/ml, whereas it was only 0.2 × 106 cells/ml and 1.3 × 106 cells/ml in 2.2% milk alone and 0.4% serum alone, respectively. Similar behavior was observed for growth in media containing colostrum and low amounts of serum. The monoclonal antibody production in media containing combinations of serum and milk or colostrum was comparable to that obtained in media with higher serum concentrations. Experiments performed with conditioned media suggest that the rapid decrease in viability, after the maximum cell concentration has been reached, is partially due to the presence of some inhibitory components generated during the cell culture rather than due to depletion of some serum components.