Journal of Immunological Methods | VOL. 509
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Flow cytometry for B-cell subset analysis in immunodeficiencies

Publication Date Oct 1, 2022

Abstract

B cells are one of the fundamental components of the adaptive immune system and are best known for their ability to produce antibodies. Among the various types of inborn errors of immunity, antibody deficiencies represent the largest group in terms of the number of affected individuals. Not all antibody deficiencies are due to B cell intrinsic defects but investigating B cell number and function are a critical part of the diagnostic process. B cells studies in clinical practice almost always rely on flow cytometry as the main tool of investigation. The advantage of flow cytometry is that it allows absolute and relative counting of B cells, and their phenotypic and functional evaluation at a single-cell level, while allowing the analysis of a large number of cells. Although versatile and broad in its utility, clinical flow cytometry has both theoretical and practical limitations. These include lack of consensus about definitions and classifications, and the use of non-standardized methods. Patients in all age groups, from newborns to the elderly, may require testing, yet B cells show significant changes in both numbers and subset distribution over the lifespan, requiring distinct reference ranges for narrowly defined age brackets for accurate interpretation. Sampling for testing is usually restricted to peripheral blood samples, and the number of markers routinely used are limited. This paper will provide a brief overview of flow cytometry and B cell biology, describe the human peripheral B cell subsets most commonly identifi...

Concepts

Clinical Flow Cytometry Flow Cytometry Sampling For Testing Subset Distribution Single-cell Level Practical Limitations Functional Evaluation Cell Subsets Components Of Immune System Cell Biology

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