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Nat Protoc. 2019 Jul;14(7):1946-1969. doi: 10.1038/s41596-019-0166-2. Epub 2019 Jun 3.

Development, application and computational analysis of high-dimensional fluorescent antibody panels for single-cell flow cytometry.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Translational Immunology, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Rozzano, Milan, Italy.
2
Laboratory of Inflammation Research, Institute of Experimental Immunology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
3
Laboratory of Translational Immunology, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Rozzano, Milan, Italy. enrico.lugli@humanitasresearch.it.
4
Flow Cytometry Core, Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Rozzano, Milan, Italy. enrico.lugli@humanitasresearch.it.

Abstract

The interrogation of single cells is revolutionizing biology, especially our understanding of the immune system. Flow cytometry is still one of the most versatile and high-throughput approaches for single-cell analysis, and its capability has been recently extended to detect up to 28 colors, thus approaching the utility of cytometry by time of flight (CyTOF). However, flow cytometry suffers from autofluorescence and spreading error (SE) generated by errors in the measurement of photons mainly at red and far-red wavelengths, which limit barcoding and the detection of dim markers. Consequently, development of 28-color fluorescent antibody panels for flow cytometry is laborious and time consuming. Here, we describe the steps that are required to successfully achieve 28-color measurement capability. To do this, we provide a reference map of the fluorescence spreading errors in the 28-color space to simplify panel design and predict the success of fluorescent antibody combinations. Finally, we provide detailed instructions for the computational analysis of such complex data by existing, popular algorithms (PhenoGraph and FlowSOM). We exemplify our approach by designing a high-dimensional panel to characterize the immune system, but we anticipate that our approach can be used to design any high-dimensional flow cytometry panel of choice. The full protocol takes a few days to complete, depending on the time spent on panel design and data analysis.

PMID:
31160786
DOI:
10.1038/s41596-019-0166-2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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