Enhanced and efficient detection of virus-driven cytokine expression by human NK and T cells.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Journal of virological methods, Volume 199C, p.17-24 (2014)

Keywords:

2014, February 2014, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division

Abstract:

Cutting edge immune monitoring techniques increasingly measure multiple functional outputs for various cell types, such as intracellular cytokine staining (ICS) assays that measure cytokines expressed by T cells. To date, however, there is no precise method to measure virus-specific cytokine production by both T cells as well as NK cells in the same well, which is important to a greater extent given recent identification of NK cells expressing a memory phenotype. This study describes an adaptable and efficient ICS assay platform that can be used to detect antigen-driven cytokine production by human T cells and NK cells, termed "viral ICS". Importantly, this assay uses limited amount of cryopreserved PBMCs along with autologous heat-inactivated serum, thereby allowing for this assay to be performed when sample is scarce as well as geographically distant from the laboratory. Compared to a standard ICS assay that detects antigen-specific T cell cytokine expression alone, the viral ICS assay is comparable in terms of both HIV-specific CD4 and CD8T cell cytokine response rates and magnitude of response, with the added advantage of ability to detect virus-specific NK cell responses.