Detection of clinically relevant immune checkpoint markers by multicolor flow cytometry
As checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapies gain traction among cancer researchers and clinicians, the need grows for assays that can definitively phenotype patient immune cells. Herein, we present an 8-color flow cytometry panel for lineage and immune checkpoint markers and validate it using healthy human donor peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Flow cytometry data was generated on a BD LSR Fortessa and supported by Luminex multiplex soluble immunoassay. Our data showed significant variation between donors at both baseline and different stages of activation, as well as a trend in increasing expression of checkpoint markers on stimulated CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells with time. Soluble immune checkpoint quantification assays revealed that LAG-3, TIM-3, CTLA-4, and PD-1 soluble isoforms are upregulated after stimulation. This 8-color flow cytometry panel, supported here by soluble immunoassay, can be used to identify and evaluate immune checkpoints on T-lymphocytes in cryopreserved human PBMC samples. This panel is ideal for characterizing checkpoint expression in clinical samples for which cryopreservation is necessary.
checkpoint markers, flow cytometry, immuno-phenotype, immunotherapy
Citation: Cunningham RA, Holland M, McWilliams E, Hodi FS, Severgnini M. Detection of clinically relevant immune checkpoint markers by multicolor flow cytometry. J Biol Methods 2019;6(2):e114. doi: 10.14440/jbm.2019.283
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