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      Resting of Cryopreserved PBMC Does Not Generally Benefit the Performance of Antigen-Specific T Cell ELISPOT Assays


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          T cell monitoring is increasingly performed using cryopreserved PBMC. It has been suggested that resting of PBMC after thawing, that is, culturing them overnight in test medium, produces higher antigen-induced spot counts in ELISPOT assays. To evaluate the importance of overnight resting, we systematically tested cryopreserved PBMC from 25 healthy donors. CEF peptides (comprising CMV, EBV and flu antigens) were used to stimulate CD8 cells and mumps antigen to stimulate CD4 cells. The data show that resting significantly increased antigen-elicited T cell responses only for CEF high responder PBMC. The maximal gain observed was doubling of spot counts. For CEF low responders, and for mumps responders of either low- or high reactivity levels, resting had no statistically significant effect on the observed spot counts. Therefore, resting is not a generally applicable approach to improve ELISPOT assay performance, but can be recommended only for clinical subject cohorts and antigens for which it has a proven benefit. Because resting invariably leads to losing about half of the PBMC available for testing, and because doubling the PBMC numbers plated into the assay reliably doubles the antigen-induced spot counts, we suggest the latter approach as a simple and reliable alternative to resting for enhancing the performance of ELISPOT assays. Our data imply that resting is not required if PBMC were cryopreserved and thawed under conditions that minimize apoptosis of the cells. Therefore, this study should draw attention to the need to optimize freezing and thawing conditions for successful T cell work.

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          Most cited references39

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          Apoptotic cell removal in development and tissue homeostasis.

          Cell deletion is a physiological process for the development and maintenance of tissue homeostasis in metazoa. This is mainly achieved by the induction of various forms of programmed cell death followed by the recognition and removal of the targeted cells by phagocytes. In this review, we will discuss cell deletion in relation to the development and function of the innate immune system, particularly of the mononuclear phagocyte system (MPS), its ontogeny and potential role in tissue remodeling in the embryo and adult. Ongoing studies are addressing the roles of professional phagocytes of the MPS and neighboring tissue cells in dying cell removal, and candidate molecules that might attract mononuclear phagocytes to the dying cells. The potential phagocyte must discriminate between living and dying cells; current concepts for this discrimination derive from the observation of newly exposed ligands on the dying cells and new evidence for direct inhibition of uptake by viable cells.
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            Results and harmonization guidelines from two large-scale international Elispot proficiency panels conducted by the Cancer Vaccine Consortium (CVC/SVI)

            The Cancer Vaccine Consortium of the Sabin Vaccine Institute (CVC/SVI) is conducting an ongoing large-scale immune monitoring harmonization program through its members and affiliated associations. This effort was brought to life as an external validation program by conducting an international Elispot proficiency panel with 36 laboratories in 2005, and was followed by a second panel with 29 participating laboratories in 2006 allowing for application of learnings from the first panel. Critical protocol choices, as well as standardization and validation practices among laboratories were assessed through detailed surveys. Although panel participants had to follow general guidelines in order to allow comparison of results, each laboratory was able to use its own protocols, materials and reagents. The second panel recorded an overall significantly improved performance, as measured by the ability to detect all predefined responses correctly. Protocol choices and laboratory practices, which can have a dramatic effect on the overall assay outcome, were identified and lead to the following recommendations: (A) Establish a laboratory SOP for Elispot testing procedures including (A1) a counting method for apoptotic cells for determining adequate cell dilution for plating, and (A2) overnight rest of cells prior to plating and incubation, (B) Use only pre-tested serum optimized for low background: high signal ratio, (C) Establish a laboratory SOP for plate reading including (C1) human auditing during the reading process and (C2) adequate adjustments for technical artifacts, and (D) Only allow trained personnel, which is certified per laboratory SOPs to conduct assays. Recommendations described under (A) were found to make a statistically significant difference in assay performance, while the remaining recommendations are based on practical experiences confirmed by the panel results, which could not be statistically tested. These results provide initial harmonization guidelines to optimize Elispot assay performance to the immunotherapy community. Further optimization is in process with ongoing panels.
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              Apoptotic human cells inhibit migration of granulocytes via release of lactoferrin.

              Apoptosis is a noninflammatory, programmed form of cell death. One mechanism underlying the non-phlogistic nature of the apoptosis program is the swift phagocytosis of the dying cells. How apoptotic cells attract mononuclear phagocytes and not granulocytes, the professional phagocytes that accumulate at sites of inflammation, has not been determined. Here, we show that apoptotic human cell lines of diverse lineages synthesize and secrete lactoferrin, a pleiotropic glycoprotein with known antiinflammatory properties. We further demonstrated that lactoferrin selectively inhibited migration of granulocytes but not mononuclear phagocytes, both in vitro and in vivo. Finally, we were able to attribute this antiinflammatory function of lactoferrin to its effects on granulocyte signaling pathways that regulate cell adhesion and motility. Together, our results identify lactoferrin as an antiinflammatory component of the apoptosis milieu and define what we believe to be a novel antiinflammatory property of lactoferrin: the ability to function as a negative regulator of granulocyte migration.

                Author and article information

                30 July 2012
                September 2012
                : 1
                : 3
                : 409-427
                [1 ]Department of Anatomy I, University of Cologne, Joseph-Stelzmann-Str. 9, 50931 Cologne, Germany; Email: helena.batoulis@ 123456uk-koeln.de (H.B.); mascha.recks@ 123456uk-koeln.de (M.S.R.)
                [2 ]Cellular Technology Ltd. (C.T.L), Shaker Heights, OH 44122, USA; Email: edith.karacsony@ 123456immunospot.com (E.K.); wenji.zhang@ 123456immunospot.com (W.Z.); ramu.subbramanian@ 123456immunospot.com (R.A.S.)
                Author notes
                [* ] Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed; Email: stefanie.kuerten@ 123456uk-koeln.de (S.K.); paul.lehmann@ 123456uk-koeln.de (P.V.L.); Tel.: +49-221-478-5414 (S.K.); Fax: +49-221-478-6711 (S.K.).
                © 2012 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

                : 13 June 2012
                : 12 July 2012
                : 14 July 2012

                cryopreservation,cef,high-throughput,mumps,t cells
                cryopreservation, cef, high-throughput, mumps, t cells


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