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Cytotherapy. 2003;5(1):1-6.

Cytokine flow cytometry: multiparametric approach to immune function analysis.

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BD Biosciences, Immunocytometry Systems, San Jose, CA 95131, USA.


More precise quantitation of cellular immune responses has become possible with the advent of single-cell assays of immune function, such as cytokine flow cytometry, enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT), and MHC-peptide multimers. Cytokine flow cytometry is an attractive technique because it allows the detection of responses to whole antigens without regard to MHC restriction, while also collecting additional information on responding cells via multiparameter flow cytometry. In this review, we compare cytokine flow cytometry with other assays of immune function, summarize some of that data that have been collected in various disease states using cytokine flow cytometry, and describe some methodological improvements designed to increase the robustness, throughput, and information content of this technique. We hypothesize that a new generation of automated cytokine flow cytometry assays will allow elucidation of the correlates of protection for diseases involving cellular immunity, through application of these assays in more and large clinical trials.

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