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Cytometry A. 2018 Apr;93(4):436-447. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.23348. Epub 2018 Mar 2.

Application of area scaling analysis to identify natural killer cell and monocyte involvement in the GranToxiLux antibody dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity assay.

Author information

Department of Surgery, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.
Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
Department of Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts.
Vaccine Research Center, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
Duke Human Vaccine Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.


Several different assay methodologies have been described for the evaluation of HIV or SIV-specific antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC). Commonly used assays measure ADCC by evaluating effector cell functions, or by detecting elimination of target cells. Signaling through Fc receptors, cellular activation, cytotoxic granule exocytosis, or accumulation of cytolytic and immune signaling factors have been used to evaluate ADCC at the level of the effector cells. Alternatively, assays that measure killing or loss of target cells provide a direct assessment of the specific killing activity of antibodies capable of ADCC. Thus, each of these two distinct types of assays provides information on only one of the critical components of an ADCC event; either the effector cells involved, or the resulting effect on the target cell. We have developed a simple modification of our previously described high-throughput ADCC GranToxiLux (GTL) assay that uses area scaling analysis (ASA) to facilitate simultaneous quantification of ADCC activity at the target cell level, and assessment of the contribution of natural killer cells and monocytes to the total observed ADCC activity when whole human peripheral blood mononuclear cells are used as a source of effector cells. The modified analysis method requires no additional reagents and can, therefore, be easily included in prospective studies. Moreover, ASA can also often be applied to pre-existing ADCC-GTL datasets. Thus, incorporation of ASA to the ADCC-GTL assay provides an ancillary assessment of the ability of natural and vaccine-induced antibodies to recruit natural killer cells as well as monocytes against HIV or SIV; or to any other field of research for which this assay is applied. © 2018 The Authors. Cytometry Part A published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of ISAC.


GranToxiLux assay; HIV; antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity; monocytes; natural killer cells; peripheral blood mononuclear cells

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