Standardized whole blood stimulation improves immunomonitoring of induced immune responses in multi-center study
Abstract Functional immune responses are increasingly important for clinical studies, providing in depth biomarker information to assess immunotherapy or vaccination. Incorporating functional immune assays into routine clinical practice has remained limited due to challenges in standardizing sample preparation. We recently described the use of a whole blood syringe-based system, TruCulture?, which permits point-of-care standardized immune stimulation. Here, we report on a multi-center clinical study in seven FOCIS Centers of Excellence to directly compare TruCulture to conventional PBMC methods. Whole blood and PBMCs from healthy donors were exposed to LPS, anti-CD3 anti-CD28 antibodies, or media alone. 55 protein analytes were analyzed centrally by Luminex multi-analyte profiling in a CLIA-certified laboratory. TruCulture responses showed greater reproducibility and improved the statistical power for monitoring differential immune response activation. The use of TruCulture addresses a major unmet need through a robust and flexible method for immunomonitoring that can be reproducibly applied in multi-center clinical studies. One sentence summary A multi-center study revealed greater reproducibility from whole blood stimulation systems as compared to PBMC stimulation for studying induced immune responses. Highlights FOCIS Centers of Excellence clinical study compared standardized whole blood TruCulture and PBMC stimulations TruCulture showed greater reproducibility across centers and improved statistical power for studying immune responses Significantly lower levels of non-specific cytokines were observed in whole blood stimulation as compared to PBMC cultures Significantly higher IL-23 and CXCL5 for LPS, and lower VEGF for CD3/CD28 stimulation in TruCulture as compared to PBMC
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