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Cytometry. 1999 May 1;36(1):36-45.

Nine color eleven parameter immunophenotyping using three laser flow cytometry.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305-5318, USA. bigos@stanford.edu



This study describes a three laser flow cytometer, reagents, and software used to simultaneously evaluate nine distinct fluorescent parameters on one cell sample. We compare the quality of data obtained with (1) full software compensation and (2) the use of partial spectral compensation of selected pairs of parameters in analog hardware, in combination with final software compensation. An application characterizing low frequency murine B cell subpopulations is given.


The fluorochromes used are: fluorescein (FITC), phycoerythrin (PE), Cy5PE and Cy7PE, excited at 488 nm by an argon laser; Texas Red (TR), allophycocyanin (APC), and Cy7APC excited at 595 nm by a pumped dye laser; and cascade blue (CB) and cascade yellow (CY) excited at 407 nm by a violet-enhanced krypton laser. Custom additions to commercial electronics and an extended optical bench allow the measurement of these nine parameters plus forward and side scatter light signals.


We find the use of partial analog compensation reduces the variation in the background staining levels introduced by the compensation process. Novel B cell populations with frequencies below 1% are characterized.


Nine color flow cytometry is capable of providing measurements with high information content. The choice of reagent-dye combinations and the ability to compensate in multi-parameter measurement space are crucial to obtaining satisfactory results.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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