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J Immunol Methods. 1992 Feb 5;146(2):219-28.

A method of preparing blood leucocytes for flow cytometry which prevents upregulation of leucocyte integrins.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, United Medical School, Guys' and St Thomas' Hospital, London, U.K.


LeuCAM (CD11/CD18) cell-surface antigens are easily upregulated on cell manipulation ex vivo. A procedure for preparing leucocytes, in which human blood is immediately treated ex vivo with buffered formaldehyde and then the erythrocytes and platelets are removed by lysis and differential centrifugation, has been successfully applied to the analysis of LeuCAM antigen expression by flow cytometry. We show that the increased expression of monocyte CD11/CD18, which occurs when mononuclear leucocytes are separated by a standard Lymphoprep density gradient separation, can be avoided if cells are fixed immediately. Following this fixation polymorphs are unable to upregulate CD11/CD18 in response to fMLP stimulation in vitro. The technique produces lymphocyte, polymorph and monocyte populations that can be clearly defined on the basis of forward scatter and side scatter, and preserves the expression of various surface antigens; the percentages of gated lymphocytes expressing CD3, CD4, and CD8 were similar to those obtained using a commercial fixing and lysis solution. The processing does not render cells permeable to antibodies, as evidenced by our failure to stain cells with antibodies to intracellular antigens. We believed the method to be useful for measuring CD11/CD18 expression on blood leucocytes from normal or pathological specimens and to have application to the measurement of other cells surface antigens which may also be upregulated by the separation procedures.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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