Navigation Links
An inventive new way to profile immune cells in blood
Date:3/5/2014

ROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] When a person becomes sick or is exposed to an unwelcome substance, the body mobilizes specific proportions of different immune cells in the blood. Methods of discovering and detecting those profiles are therefore useful both clinically and in research. In a new paper in the journal Genome Biology, a team of scientists describes a new and uniquely advantageous way to detect them.

All the current means of counting immune cells in a blood sample require whole cells, said Karl Kelsey, professor of epidemiology at Brown and corresponding author, but the new system relies on something far less ephemeral: DNA. Its use of hardy strands of genetic material allows it to handle even archived samples where cells have lost their physical integrity.

All of a person's immune cells in fact, nearly all of their cells have exactly the same DNA, but what makes a kidney cell different from a brain cell or a T-cell distinct from a B-cell are chemical alterations known as epigenetic marks. Those cause a cell's genes to be expressed in the particular way that makes them different. One type of those alterations is methylation, and every kind of cell has its own methylation signature.

"Once you understand the unique and really immutable signature that directs the differentiation of the cell, then you can use that and you don't need the cell anymore," Kelsey said.

So the new test detects those methylation signatures in a blood sample and, with the help of sophisticated algorithms, counts up how many cells of each type are in the sample. In the experiments reported in the paper, Kelsey, lead author William Accomando, and colleagues counted up the following major immune cell types, or leukocytes: T-cells, B-cells, NK cells, monocytes, eosinophils, basophils, and neutrophils.

Based on their tests using fresh human blood samples from more than 80 donors, they report that their technique's accuracy performed at par in a direct comparison with three "gold standard" methods: "manual five-part differential," "CBC with automated five-part differential," and "fluorescence activated cell sorting."

In further experiments they showed that their technique works to detect the mixtures of immune cells associated with known diseases and that the technique works with blood exposed to storage conditions such as freezing and the addition of anticoagulants.

Moreover, in their experiments the team showed that to distinguish among and count those various immune cell types, they only needed to measure a few dozen methylation marks in the DNA. What's sufficient to constitute a signature, in other words, can be quite short.

The main ingredients of the method, Kelsey said, are libraries of methylation signatures of cells. Kelsey's lab determined the ones needed for this study, but big new epigenetics research consortia in Europe and the United States are poised to produce many more, greatly expanding the versatility of the proprietary method to cover more immune cells and other cell types as well.

In addition to the algorithms and the libraries, the test also requires some hardware, such as commercially available methylation microarrays.

The method has proven feasible enough that many other epidemiology research labs are already using it, Kelsey said. Brown University has also applied for a patent on the technique. He said it has the potential to be cheaper and faster than current techniques, although he didn't measure that in the paper.


'/>"/>
Contact: David Orenstein
david_orenstein@brown.edu
401-863-1862
Brown University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Inspired: Canada funds 68 bold, inventive ways to improve health, save lives in developing countries
2. Gastric bypass surgery alters gut microbiota profile along the intestine
3. Scientists learn how pathogens hack our immune systems to go undetected
4. Study in mice raises question: Could PTSD involve immune response to stress?
5. Vitamin A used in acne medicines may help autoimmune and transplant patients
6. Puzzling question in bacterial immune system answered
7. Immune system development linked to leukemia
8. With sinus study, Saint Louis University researchers find that harmless members of microbiome spark immune reaction
9. Study: Moderate alcohol consumption boosts bodys immune system
10. Peripheral immune system may regulate vulnerability to depression
11. New insights into the immune system of the gastrointestinal tract
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
An inventive new way to profile immune cells in blood
(Date:1/6/2017)... 5, 2017  Delta ID Inc., a leader in ... for automotive at CES® 2017. Delta ID has collaborated ... demonstrate the use of iris scanning as a secure, ... driver in a car, and as a way to ... Delta ID and Gentex will demonstrate (booth ...
(Date:12/22/2016)... , Dec. 20, 2016  As part of its longstanding ... leading personal genetics company, recently released its latest children,s book, ... The book focuses on the topics of inheritance and variation ... Standards (NGSS) taught in elementary school classrooms in the US. ... series by illustrator Ariana Killoran , whose previous book ...
(Date:12/19/2016)... , España y TORONTO , 19 de diciembre ... Northern Biologics Inc. que permitirá el desarrollo acelerado de MSC-1, un ... en varios tipos de tumor en 2017, con múltiples sitios previstos ... ... clase con objetivo en el factor inhibidor de leucemia (LIF), una ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/16/2017)... Jan. 16, 2017  Eurofins Genomics today announced the ... more customers to receive their primers in a shorter ... in quality found with other providers. Express oligos are ... at no additional fee. Researchers ... studies, including DNA sequencing, genotyping, site-directed mutagenesis, and cloning. ...
(Date:1/13/2017)... DUBLIN , Jan 13, 2017 Research and ... report to their offering. ... The global biopolymers market to grow at a CAGR of 16.83% ... scenario and the growth prospects of the global biopolymers market for 2017-2021. ... the sale of sales of biopolymer products. The report also includes a ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... ... January 12, 2017 , ... ... IS A SUCCESS , VTI, Vertebral Technologies, Inc., announces the successful outcome ... expandable device. Since September 2016, VTI (Vertebral Technologies, Inc.) has partnered with ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... ... January 12, 2017 , ... After her brain ... doctors gave her only a few months to live. Now a paper publishing ... stabilized Rosendahl’s disease and increased both the quantity and quality of her life: ...
Breaking Biology Technology: