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J Leukoc Biol. 1995 Feb;57(2):235-41.

Retention of phagocytic functions in cryopreserved human monocytes.

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Department of Medicine, University of Tromsø, Norway.


Phagocytosis and respiratory burst activity were measured by flow cytometry in fresh and cryopreserved human monocytes, after ingestion of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Mononuclear leukocytes, isolated from 15 healthy donors, were divided into two portions, of which one was examined immediately and the other was cryopreserved for 3 weeks. Morphological characteristics and expression of receptors involved in phagocytosis were similar in fresh and cryopreserved monocytes. Furthermore, both internalization of bacteria and respiratory burst activity remained unchanged after cryopreservation. Transmission electron microscopy confirmed actual internalization of bacteria and not merely bacterial attachment to monocytes. Monocytes were demonstrated to retain integral cellular functions during cryopreservation. This may imply that the method has potential for use in basal and clinical trials.

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