Cell transplantation for regenerative medicine has become an appealing therapeutic method; however, stem and progenitor cells are not always freshly available. Cryopreservation offers a way to freeze cells as they are generated, for storage and transport until required for therapy. This study was performed to assess the feasibility of cryopreserving peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) for the subsequent in vitro generation of their derived therapeutic population, circulating angiogenic cells (CACs).
PBMCs were isolated from healthy human donors. Freshly isolated cells were either analyzed immediately or cryopreserved in media containing 6% plasma serum and 5% dimethyl sulfoxide. PBMCs were thawed after being frozen for 1 (early thaw) or 28 (late thaw) days and analyzed, or cultured for 4 days to generate CACs. Analysis of the cells consisted of flow cytometry for viability and phenotype, as well as functional assays for their adhesion and migration potential, cytokine secretion, and in vivo angiogenic potential.
The viability of PBMCs and CACs as well as their adhesion and migration properties did not differ greatly after cryopreservation. Phenotypic changes did occur in PBMCs and to a lesser extent in CACs after freezing; however the potent CD34+VEGFR2+CD133+ population remained unaffected. The derived CACs, while exhibiting changes in inflammatory cytokine secretion, showed no changes in the secretion of important regenerative and chemotactic cytokines, nor in their ability to restore perfusion in ischemic muscle.
Overall, it appears that changes do occur in cryopreserved PBMCs and their generated CACs; however, the CD34+VEGFR2+CD133+ progenitor population, the secretion of pro-vasculogenic factors, and the in vivo angiogenic potential of CACs remain unaffected by cryopreservation.
For immune monitoring studies during HIV vaccine clinical trials, whole blood specimens from HIV seropositive (HIV+) patients may be collected at multiple sites and sent to a central location for peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) isolation, cryopreservation and functional evaluation. In this study we show a comparison of two PBMC preparation options, Ficoll density gradient separation (Ficoll) and Cell Preparation Tubes (CPT) using shipped whole blood specimens from 19 HIV+ patients (CD4 > 350, viral load < 50). The pre- and post- cryopreservation performance of samples collected by these two methods were compared by assessment of antigen-specific IFNγ expression in CD8+ and CD8- T cells, cellular viability, and cellular recovery.
The results indicate that cryopreserved PBMC samples tested for CMV- and HIV- specific interferon-gamma (IFNγ) expression performed equivalent to the respective fresh PBMC processed under both collection conditions. Compared to fresh PBMC, the viability was significantly lower for cryopreserved PBMC derived using Ficoll, although it was never less than 90%. There were no significant differences in the IFNγ response, viability, or recovery between cryopreserved PBMC derived by Ficoll and by CPT.
These data suggest that CPT is an efficient system for the collection and cryopreservation of functionally active HIV+ PBMC, as well as a viable alternative to Ficoll gradient separation.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) vaccine and natural history studies are critically dependent on the ability to isolate, cryopreserve, and thaw peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) samples with a high level of quality and reproducibility. Here we characterize the yield, viability, phenotype, and function of PBMC from HIV-1-infected and uninfected Ugandans and describe measures to ascertain reproducibility and sample quality at the sites that perform cryopreservation. We have developed a comprehensive internal quality control program to monitor processing, including components of method validation. Quality indicators for real-time performance assessment included the time from venipuncture to cryopreservation, time for PBMC processing, yield of PBMC from whole blood, and viability of the PBMC before cryopreservation. Immune phenotype analysis indicated lowered B-cell frequencies following processing and cryopreservation for both HIV-1-infected and uninfected subjects (P < 0.007), but all other major lymphocyte subsets were unchanged. Long-term cryopreservation did not impact function, as unstimulated specimens exhibited low background and all specimens responded to staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) by gamma interferon and interleukin-2 production, as measured by intracellular cytokine staining. Samples stored for more than 3 years did not decay with regard to yield or viability, regardless of HIV-1 infection status. These results demonstrate that it is possible to achieve the high level of quality necessary for vaccine trials and natural history studies in a resource-limited setting and provide strategies for laboratories to monitor PBMC processing performance.
Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) ELISpot and intracellular cytokine staining (ICS) assays are routinely employed in clinical HIV vaccine trials to identify antigen-specific T cells in cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Several parameters involved in blood collection, processing and shipping may influence immunological function of the resulting cells, including anticoagulant type, time from venipuncture to PBMC isolation/cryopreservation, method of PBMC isolation and procedure for sample shipping. We examined these parameters in single and multiple site studies, and found the length of time from venipuncture to cryopreservation is the most important parameter affecting performance of T cells in immunological assays. Comparing blood processed at 24 hours after venipuncture with that processed within eight hours, we observed on average a modest reduction in PBMC viability (∼8% decrease), a greater loss in cell recovery (∼32%), and between 36-56% loss in IFN-γ T cell frequencies by ELISpot assay. We also describe three cold shipping methods that maintain immunological function in appropriately cryopreserved PBMC. These data indicate that cryopreservation of PBMC should occur within eight hours of venipuncture for optimal performance. This narrow window for specimen processing has important implications in selecting and monitoring clinical sites with laboratory capacity to perform these procedures in future clinical trials.
Developing effective techniques for the cryopreservation of human adipose-derived adult stem cells (ASCs) could increase the usefulness of these cells in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. To this end, we investigated the post-freeze/thaw viability and apoptotic behavior of Passage 1 (P1) adult stem cells (ASCs) in 11 different media: (i) the traditional media containing Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium (DMEM) with 80% fetal calf serum (FCS) and 10% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), (ii) DMEM with 80% human serum (HS) and 10% DMSO, (iii) DMEM with 1% methyl cellulose (MC) and 10% of either HS or FCS or DMSO, and (iv) DMEM with 0%, 2%, 4%, 6%, 8%, or 10% DMSO. Approximately 1 mL (106 cells/mL) of P1 ASCs were frozen overnight in a −80°C freezer and stored in liquid nitrogen for 2 weeks before being rapidly thawed in a 37°C water bath (1–2 min of agitation), resuspended in culture media, and seeded in separate wells of a 6-well plate for a 24-h incubation period at 37°C. After 24 h, the thawed samples were analyzed by bright-field microscopy and flow cytometry. The results suggest that the absence of DMSO (and the presence of MC) significantly increases the fraction of apoptotic and/or necrotic ASCs. However, the percentage of viable cells obtained with 2% DMSO and DMEM was comparable with that obtained in freezing media with 10% DMSO and 80% serum (HS or FCS), that is, ∼84% ± 5% and ∼84% ± 8%, respectively. Adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation behavior of the frozen thawed cells was also assessed using histochemical staining. Our results suggest that post-thaw ASC viability, adipogenic and osteogenic differentiability can be maintained even when they are frozen in the absence of serum but with a minimal concentration of 2% DMSO in DMEM.
Functional immunologic assays using cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) are influenced by blood processing, storage and shipment. The objective of this study was to compare the viability, recovery and ELISPOT results of PBMC stored and shipped in liquid nitrogen (LN/LN) or stored in LN and shipped on dry ice (LN/DI) or stored at −70°C for 3 to 12 weeks and shipped on DI (70/DI 3 to 12); and to assess the effect of donor HIV infection status on the interaction between storage/shipment and the outcome measures. PBMC from 12 HIV-infected and 12 uninfected donors showed that LN/LN conferred higher viability and recovery than LN/DI or 70/DI 3, 6, 9 or 12. LN/DI PBMC had higher viability than any 70/DI PBMC. The PBMC viability and recovery linearly decreased with the duration of storage at −70°C from 3 to 12 weeks. This effect was more pronounced in samples from HIV-infected than uninfected donors. Results of ELISPOT assays using CMV pp65, CEF and Candida albicans antigens were qualitatively and quantitatively similar across LN/LN, LN/DI and 70/DI 3. However, ELISPOT values significantly decreased with the duration of storage at −70°C both in HIV-infected and uninfected donors. ELISPOT results also decreased with PBMC viability <70%.
Storage of high-quality cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) is often a requirement for multicenter clinical trials and requires a reproducibly high standard of practice. A quality assurance program (QAP) was established to assess an Australia-wide network of laboratories in the provision of high-quality PBMC (determined by yield, viability, and function), using blood taken from single donors (human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] positive and HIV negative) and shipped to each site for preparation and cryopreservation of PBMC. The aim of the QAP was to provide laboratory accreditation for participation in clinical trials and cohort studies which require preparation and cryopreservation of PBMC and to assist all laboratories to prepare PBMC with a viability of >80% and yield of >50% following thawing. Many laboratories failed to reach this standard on the initial QAP round. Interventions to improve performance included telephone interviews with the staff at each laboratory, two annual wet workshops, and direct access to a senior scientist to discuss performance following each QAP round. Performance improved substantially in the majority of sites that initially failed the QAP (P = 0.002 and P = 0.001 for viability and yield, respectively). In a minority of laboratories, there was no improvement (n = 2), while a high standard was retained at the laboratories that commenced with adequate performance (n = 3). These findings demonstrate that simple interventions and monitoring of PBMC preparation and cryopreservation from multiple laboratories can significantly improve performance and contribute to maintenance of a network of laboratories accredited for quality PBMC fractionation and cryopreservation.
The B7-CD28 immunoglobulin superfamily of costimulatory and coinhibitory ligands and their cell receptors play a critical role in modulating immune responses. Imbalances in these immune regulatory signals occur in pathological conditions characterized by chronic antigenic stimulation. Clinical studies often rely on the use of cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) to evaluate cellular immune responses. The impact of cryopreservation on these coinhibitory ligands and their cell receptors is unknown. In our studies, cryopreservation significantly reduced the expression of both PD-1 and PD-L1 on PBMC-derived CD3+/CD8+ T cells and CD45+/CD14+ monocytes obtained from adult control subjects. Blockade of PD-1, PD-L1, and PD-L2 using both freshly isolated and cryopreserved PBMC led to higher levels of phytohemagglutinin (PHA) and Candida-induced gamma interferon (IFN-γ), interleukin-2 (IL-2), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) with no effect on IL-10 production. Coinhibitory signaling blockade of freshly isolated, PHA-stimulated PBMC from normal adult controls and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected subjects led to increased production of IL-4 and IL-5. Candida-stimulated PBMC preferentially induced IFN-γ and TNF-α production, with reduced production of IL-2 and IL-10. This is in contrast to high levels of IFN-γ, IL-2, and TNF-α production with PHA-stimulated cells. The effects of coinhibitory blockade on PHA and Candida-induced lymphoproliferation were varied, with freshly isolated PBMC from adult control subjects and HIV-infected patients yielding higher levels of lymphoproliferation in response to PD-1/PD-L1 blockade. Immune function studies employing cryopreserved cells may lead to increased T-cell effector cytolytic and regulatory immune responses.
Composite tissue allotransplantation holds great promise for upper extremity reconstruction but is limited by donor part availability. Cryopreservation may increase the availability of donor parts and even reduce antigenicity. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the viability of cryopreserved composite tissues and to demonstrate the feasibility of microvascular isotransplantation of cryopreserved composite flaps. Twenty epigastric flaps were harvested from Lewis rats. Ten flaps were analyzed fresh. Ten flaps were perfused with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)/trehelose cryoprotectant agent (CPA), frozen by controlled cooling to −140°C, and stored for 2 weeks. Flaps were evaluated by factor VIII endothelial staining and MTT tetrazolium salt assay. For the in vivo phase, 30 flaps were harvested. Ten were transplanted fresh to isogenetic recipient animals, ten were perfused with CPA and transplanted, and ten were cryopreserved for 2 weeks, thawed, and transplanted. All cryopreserved samples displayed intact vascular endothelia on factor VIII staining. On MTT analysis, the epithelial viability index for the cryopreserved samples was not significantly different from fresh controls (p = 0.12). All freshly transplanted flaps (10/10) were viable at 60 days. Nine of ten flaps in the perfused/transplanted group were viable at 60 days. Survival of cryopreserved/transplanted flaps ranged from 5 to 60 days. The skin and vascular endothelial components of composite tissue flaps appear to retain their viability after cryopreservation. The in vivo studies demonstrate that the long-term survival of cryopreserved composite tissue transplants is feasible and support an indirect injury, rather than direct injury from freezing or cryoprotectant agents, as the mechanism of flap loss.
Cryopreservation; Composite tissue transplantation; Epigastric flap
Measurements of cytokine levels in serum may not adequately reflect the cytokine-producing potential of immune cells because of the short half-lives of cytokines and the presence of various inhibitors in human sera. In vitro cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) can be an important and reliable measure of immunocompetence. Also, spontaneous in vitro release of cytokines by PBMCs may serve as a measure of their activation in vivo. In the present study, normal ranges for the in vitro production by PBMCs of interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), IL-2, and gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) were established; the feasibility of using cryopreserved PBMCs for assays of in vitro cytokine production was evaluated; and spontaneous (unstimulated) versus induced production of cytokines by fresh and cryopreserved PBMCs from healthy donors was compared. Supernatants obtained from paired fresh and frozen PBMCs were quantitated for IL-1 beta, TNF-alpha, IL-2, and IFN-gamma by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or a radioimmunoassay standardized against World Health Organization cytokine standards. Fresh or cryopreserved PBMCs activated with lipopolysaccharide produced comparable levels of IL-1 beta. However, the mean levels of stimulated production of TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma, and IL-2 were significantly higher in cryopreserved versus fresh PBMCs (P < or = 0.0004). Correlations between the level of production of each cytokine by fresh versus cryopreserved in vitro-stimulated PBMCs were statistically significant, although of moderate magnitude. Spontaneous cytokine release by fresh versus cryopreserved cells was not significantly different.
Availability of large quantities of functionally effective dendritic cells (DC) represents one of the major challenges for immunotherapeutic trials against infectious or malignant diseases. Low numbers or insufficient T-cell activation of DC may result in premature termination of treatment and unsatisfying immune responses in clinical trials. Based on the notion that cryopreservation of monocytes is superior to cryopreservation of immature or mature DC in terms of resulting DC quantity and immuno-stimulatory capacity, we aimed to establish an optimized protocol for the cryopreservation of highly concentrated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) for DC-based immunotherapy. Cryopreserved cell preparations were analyzed regarding quantitative recovery, viability, phenotype, and functional properties. In contrast to standard isopropyl alcohol (IPA) freezing, PBMC cryopreservation in an automated controlled-rate freezer (CRF) with subsequent thawing and differentiation resulted in significantly higher cell yields of immature and mature DC. Immature DC yields and total protein content after using CRF were comparable with results obtained with freshly prepared PBMC and exceeded results of standard IPA freezing by approximately 50 %. While differentiation markers, allogeneic T-cell stimulation, viability, and cytokine profiles were similar to DC from standard freezing procedures, DC generated from CRF-cryopreserved PBMC induced a significantly higher antigen-specific IFN-γ release from autologous effector T cells. In summary, automated controlled-rate freezing of highly concentrated PBMC represents an improved method for increasing DC yields and autologous T-cell stimulation.
DC; Dendritic cells; Cryopreservation; Cellular immunotherapy; Cell yields
Seven Brazilian sites participating in the Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group international cryopreservation quality assurance pilot program cryopreserved and shipped peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) to a central U.S. laboratory for analysis. Cell viability and recovery significantly increased over time. A wet-laboratory training session conducted at the central laboratory significantly improved the quality of the cryopreserved PBMC.
The enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assay is a powerful tool for measuring antigen-specific cellular immune responses. The ability to use frozen peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) facilitates testing samples in multicenter clinical trials; however, unreliable ELISPOT responses may result if samples are not handled properly. Exposure of frozen PBMC to suboptimal storage temperature (−20°C) or repeated cycling between more optimal storage temperatures (less than −130°C and −70°C) reduced the quality of frozen PBMC, as assessed by cell viability and functional ELISPOT response measures. Cell viability as assessed by trypan blue dye exclusion was reduced, and the percentage of apoptotic cells, as determined by the Guava Nexin assay, was significantly increased after these events. The functional gamma interferon ELISPOT responses to phytohemagglutinin (PHA) mitogen, a CD4 T-cell-specific antigen (varicella-zoster virus), and a CD8 T-cell-specific antigen (pool containing known cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, and influenza virus peptides) were all significantly reduced after suboptimal storage events. However, for a given suboptimal storage event, the magnitude of the reduction varied between individuals and even among aliquots within an individual bleed, indicating the need for sample-specific acceptance criteria (AC). The percent viable or percent apoptotic cells after thaw, as well as the functional ELISPOT response to PHA, were all effective when applied with limits as AC for separating samples damaged during storage from valid control samples. Although all three AC measures could be effectively applied, the apoptosis AC limit applied was best for separating samples that could respond to antigenic stimulation from samples that could not effectively respond.
The goals of this study were to optimize processing methods of cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) for immunological assays, identify acceptance parameters for the use of cryopreserved PBMC for functional and phenotypic assays, and to define limitations of the information obtainable with cryopreserved PBMC. Blood samples from 104 volunteers (49 human immunodeficiency virus-infected and 55 uninfected) were used to assess lymphocyte proliferation in response to tetanus, candida, and pokeweed-mitogen stimulation and to enumerate CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and T-cell subpopulations by flow cytometry. We determined that slowly diluting the thawed PBMC significantly improved viable cell recovery, whereas the use of benzonase improved cell recovery only sometimes. Cell storage in liquid nitrogen for up to 15 months did not affect cell viability, recovery, or the results of lymphocyte proliferation assays (LPA) and flow cytometry assays. Storage at −70°C for ≤3 weeks versus storage in liquid nitrogen before shipment on dry ice did not affect cell viability, recovery, or flow cytometric results. Storage at −70°C was associated with slightly higher LPA results with pokeweed-mitogen but not with microbial antigens. Cell viability of 75% was the acceptance parameter for LPA. No other acceptance parameters were found for LPA or flow cytometry assay results for cryopreserved PBMC. Under optimized conditions, LPA and flow cytometry assay results for cryopreserved and fresh PBMC were highly correlated, with the exception of phenotypic assays that used CD45RO or CD62L markers, which seemed labile to freezing and thawing.
To investigate the damages to the extracellular matrix in articular cartilage due to cryopreservation, the depth-dependent concentration profiles of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in thirty-four cartilage specimens from canine humeral heads were imaged at 13μm pixel resolution using the in vitro version of the dGEMRIC protocol in microscopic MRI (μMRI). In addition, a biochemical assay was used to determine the GAG loss from the tissue to the solution where the tissue was immersed. For specimens that had been frozen at −20 °C or −80 °C without any cryoprotectant, a significant loss of GAG (as high as 56.5%) was found in cartilage, dependent upon the structural zones of the tissue and the conditions of cryopreservation. The cryoprotective abilities of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as a function of its concentration in saline and storage temperature were also investigated. A 30% DMSO concentration was sufficient in preventing the reduction of GAG in the tissue at the −20 °C storage temperature, but a 50% concentration of DMSO was necessary for the −80 °C cryopreservation. These imaging results were verified by the biochemical analysis.
cryopreservation; cartilage; microscopic MRI; glycosaminoglycan; dGEMRIC; biochemical assay; dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO); DMMB
Factors that influence viability and function of cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were identified on 54 samples from 27 AIDS Clinical Trial Units. PBMC viability ranged from 1 to 96% with a median of 70%, was higher in laboratories with experienced staff, and was not significantly associated with CD4 cell number. Function of cryopreserved PBMC, measured by lymphocyte proliferation, was associated with viability. Preparations with viability greater than or equal to 70% had consistent proliferative responses and were suitable for functional analyses.
The effects of immediate versus delayed cell separation, storage temperature, presence of serum, and type of anticoagulation on the natural killer (NK) cytotoxicity of human mononuclear cells were assessed. The NK cytotoxicity of Ficoll-Hypaque-separated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was tested in a 3-h chromium-51 release assay with K562 cells at various effector/target cell ratios. The NK activities of PBMC from blood anticoagulated with either heparin or EDTA and then immediately separated and assayed were not different (42.9 +/- 2.5% for heparin and 40.3 +/- 4.6% for EDTA). When these separated cells were cultured in medium with 10% fetal calf serum and stored at 4,25, or 37 degrees C for 18 h before the assay, there was a significant increase in cytotoxicity. PBMC from blood stored in heparin or EDTA for 18 h before separation had reduced NK cytotoxicity, particularly if they were kept at 37 degrees C. When separated PBMC were cultured in medium with 10% human AB serum, however, samples held at 25 and 37 degrees C decreased in cytotoxicity but samples held at 4 degrees C maintained the cytotoxicity demonstrated at the baseline level with fresh cells. We recommend that heparinized blood be used for NK assays and that the PBMC be isolated immediately and held overnight at 4 degrees C in medium with 10% AB serum if the assay must be delayed. The NK cytotoxicity under these storage conditions most closely matches the results obtained when the PBMC are isolated and tested on the same day. IF PBMC isolation must also be postponed, it is best to store the blood in heparinized tubes at 25 degrees C to prevent loss of cytotoxic function.
Cell-mediated immunity appears to be critical for the prevention and control of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection and complications arising from zoster. Current assays of VZV-specific cell-mediated immunity are cumbersome or lack sensitivity. We have developed a gamma interferon ELISPOT assay that provides a direct measure of the number of T cells secreting a cytokine following stimulation with antigen. This assay is extremely sensitive and specific, with the ability to detect gamma interferon spot-forming cells (SFC) in the range of 10 to 1,000 SFC per million peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). This assay has been validated by demonstrating the following: (i) the response detected is mediated almost entirely by CD4+ T cells, (ii) ELISPOT responses from fresh-frozen PBMCs are equivalent to those from freshly isolated cells, (iii) frozen PBMCs can be shipped on dry ice for up to 48 h without loss of activity, (iv) frozen PBMC samples can be stored in liquid nitrogen over long periods (>22 months) without any significant change in response, and (v) the numbers of ELISPOTs counted using a computer-based imaging system are equivalent to those counted by humans but have lower variability. The ability to use frozen cells is facilitated by the use of a recombinant nuclease (Benzonase) that can prevent cell clumping when samples are thawed. Frozen PBMC samples can be cycled through multiple changes in storage between liquid nitrogen and dry ice without any change in response being detected. This facilitates collection of samples at one site and testing performed at a remote location. This VZV ELISPOT assay provides a new versatile tool for monitoring cellular immune responses either during a herpes zoster disease outbreak or following vaccination.
This study was conducted to determine whether reactivity to melanoma cells of pretreatment peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from patients with metastatic melanoma correlated with subsequent response to treatment with interleukin-2 (IL-2). The sensitivity of the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was optimized, including the total number of cells used (3 × 106 in 1 mL), the responder-to-stimulator cell ratio (5:1), the optimal time to incubate PBMCs with tumor (2 h), the appropriate tumor stimulators (melanoma cell lines differing only in the expression of histocompatibility leukocyte antigen [HLA-A2]), the duration of recovery in the culture of PBMCs after cryopreservation (18–24 h), and the medium used (Iscove, 10% human AB serum). Using this optimized assay to detect HLA-A2–restricted antitumor reactivity in the pretreatment PBMCs from patients with melanoma, positive reactive responses were detected in 7 of 28 patients with an objective clinical response to IL-2 therapy compared with 6 of 21 positive reactive responses in nonresponding patients. None of 12 healthy donors were positive in this study. Thus, there was no significant difference in the reactivity of pretreatment PBMCs when responders were compared with nonresponders, although the melanoma patients had an increased incidence of response compared with healthy donors (p = 0.05). The PBMCs from 11 of the 13 melanoma patients with pretreatment HLA-A2–restricted antimelanoma reactivity were tested against a panel of transfectants expressing known shared melanoma antigens. Anti–MART-1 reactivity was detected in the pretreatment PBMCs of three patients. It thus appears that some melanoma patients are immunologically primed to antigens expressed on the tumor surface, although the HLA-A2–restricted antimelanoma activity detected in this real-time PCR assay was not predictive of patients’ responses to IL-2 therapy.
Melanoma antigens; Histocompatibility leukocyte antigen; Immunotherapy; Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction
Lymphocyte proliferation assays (LPA), which can provide important information regarding the immune reconstitution of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients on highly active antiretroviral therapy, frequently involve shipment of specimens to central laboratories. In this study, we examine the effect of stimulant, anticoagulant, cell separation, storage, and transportation on LPA results. LPA responses of whole blood and separated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) to different stimulants (cytomegalovirus, varicella-zoster virus, candida and tetanus toxoid antigens, and phytohemagglutinin) were measured using fresh specimens shipped overnight and frozen specimens collected in heparin, acid citrate dextrose (ACD), and citrate cell preparation tubes (CPT) from 12 HIV-infected patients and uninfected controls. Odds ratios for positive LPA responses were significantly higher in separated PBMC than in whole blood from ACD- and heparin-anticoagulated samples obtained from HIV-infected patients and from ACD-anticoagulated samples from uninfected controls. On separated PBMC, positive responses were significantly more frequent in fresh samples compared with overnight transportation for all antigens and compared with cryopreservation for the candida and tetanus antigens. In addition, viral antigen LPA responses were better preserved in frozen PBMC compared with specimens shipped overnight. CPT tubes yielded significantly more positive LPA results for all antigens, irrespective of the HIV patient status compared with ACD, but only for the candida and tetanus antigens and only in HIV-negative controls compared with heparin. Although HIV-infected patients had a significantly lower number of positive antigen-driven LPA responses compared with uninfected controls, most of the specimen processing variables had similar effects on HIV-positive and -negative samples. We conclude that LPA should be performed on site, whenever feasible, by using separated PBMC from fresh blood samples collected in either heparin or ACD. However, if on-site testing is not available, optimal transportation conditions should be established for specific antigens.
Cryopreservation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) allows assays of cellular function and phenotype to be performed in batches at a later time on PBMC at a central laboratory to minimize assay variability. The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) is an ongoing prospective study of the natural and treated history of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection that stores cryopreserved PBMC from participants two times a year at four study sites. In order to ensure consistent recovery of viable PBMC after cryopreservation, a quality assessment program was implemented and conducted in the MACS over a 6-year period. Every 4 months, recently cryopreserved PBMC from HIV-1-infected and HIV-1-uninfected participants at each MACS site were thawed and evaluated. The median recoveries of viable PBMC for HIV-1-infected and -uninfected participants were 80% and 83%, respectively. Thawed PBMC from both HIV-1-infected and -uninfected participants mounted a strong proliferative response to phytohemagglutinin, with median stimulation indices of 84 and 120, respectively. Expression of the lymphocyte surface markers CD3, CD4, and CD8 by thawed PBMC was virtually identical to what was observed on cells measured in real time using whole blood from the same participants. Furthermore, despite overall excellent performance of the four participating laboratories, problems were identified that intermittently compromised the quality of cryopreserved PBMC, which could be corrected and monitored for improvement over time. Ongoing quality assessment helps laboratories improve protocols and performance on a real-time basis to ensure optimal cryopreservation of PBMC for future studies.
The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS), an ongoing prospective study of the natural history of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), has stored biologic specimens, including peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), from 5,622 participants for up to 12 years. The purpose of the present analysis was to evaluate the quality of the PBMC in the MACS repository in order to test the validity and feasibility of nested retrospective studies and to guide the planning of future repositories. PBMC were collected from MACS participants at four centers at 6-month intervals from 1984 to 1995, cryopreserved, and transported to a central repository for storage. A total of 596 of these specimens were subsequently tested for viability and used to evaluate cell function, to conduct immunophenotype analysis, or to isolate HIV. Simple linear regression models were applied to evaluate trends in recovery and viability over time and by center. Results indicated that from a nominal 107 cells cryopreserved per vial at all four centers, the median number of viable cells recovered was at least 5 × 106 (50% of the number stored) and the median viability was at least 90%. Results suggested that cryopreserved cells can be stored for at least 12 years with no general tendency toward cell loss over time. Furthermore, there were no statistically significant changes in the percent cell viability according to the length of time frozen, regardless of HIV serostatus or the level of CD4+ lymphocytes. Storing 107 PBMC per vial yields sufficient viable cells for phenotypic and/or functional analysis. Results from the MACS provide the basis for the planning of future repositories for use by investigators with similar research goals.
Capable effector mechanisms in the human immune response against the cytolytic, protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica have not been described. To identify a competent human effector cell, we studied the in vitro interactions of normal human polymorphonuclear neutrophils, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), monocytes (MC), and MC-derived macrophages with virulent axenic amebae (strain HMI-IMSS). Amebae killed neutrophils, PBMC, MC, and MC-derived macrophages (P less than 0.001), without loss of parasite viability. The addition of heat-inactivated immune serum did not enable leukocytes to kill amebae, nor did it protect these host cells from amebae. MC-derived macrophages, activated with lymphokine elicited by the mitogens conconavalin A, phytohemagglutinin, or an amebic soluble protein preparation (strain HK9), killed 55% of amebae by 3 h in a trypan blue exclusion assay (P less than 0.001); during this time, 40% of the activated macrophages died. Lysis of amebae was confirmed using 111Indium oxine radiolabeled parasites and was antibody independent. Macrophage death appeared to be due to the deleterious effect of lysed amebae rather than the contact-dependent effector mechanisms of E. histolytica. Adherence between activated macrophages and amebae was greater than that between other leukocytes and amebae (P less than 0.001). Microscopic observations, kinetic analysis of the killing of amebae by activated macrophages, and suspension of amebae with adherent activated macrophages in a 10% dextran solution indicated that contact by activated macrophages was necessary to initiate the killing of amebae. Catalase but not superoxide dismutase inhibited the amebicidal capacity of activated macrophages (P less than 0.001). However, activated macrophages from an individual with chronic granulomatous disease were able to kill amebae, but not as effectively as normal cells (P less than 0.01). In summary, activated MC-derived macrophages killed virulent E. histolytica trophozoites through a contact-dependent, antibody-independent mechanism involving oxidative-dependent and -independent processes.
Alternative substrates for cryopreservation at −20 °C have been little explored for basidiomycetes and could bring new possibilities of lower cost cryopreservation. Nevertheless, freezing temperatures between −15 and −60 °C are very challenging because they frequently result in cryoinjuries. The objective of this study was to evaluate substrates associated to cryoprotective agents for Pleurotus ostreatus cryopreservation at −20 or −70 °C in order to develop alternative techniques for basidiomycete cryopreservation. P. ostreatus was grown on potato dextrose agar or whole grains of oat, wheat, rice or millet and transferred to cryovials with cryoprotective solution with 1 % dimethyl sulfoxide, 5 % glycerol, 10 % saccharose, 4 % glucose, 6 % polyethylene glycol-6000 or 5 % malt extract. The mycelium in the cryovials were cryopreserved at −20 or −70 °C and recovered for evaluation of the mycelial growth viability after 1 and 3 years. Both substrates and cryoprotectants affect the viability of the mycelial growth cryopreserved at −20 or −70 °C; wheat grains combined with cryoprotectants such as saccharose or glucose are effective for keeping mycelium viable after cryopreservation at −20 °C for 1 or 3 years; for cryopreservation at −70 °C after 1 or 3 years, any substrate combined with any cryoprotectant is effective for preserving the mycelium viable, except for millet grains with polyethylene glycol after 3 years; semi-permeable cryoprotective agents such as saccharose and glucose are the most effective for cryopreservation at −20 or −70 °C for at least 3 years.
Pleurotus ostreatus; Cryopreservation; Freezing; Substrate; Cryoprotective agent
Human granulocytes (PMNL) were successfully cryopreserved for up to 14 months. The PMNL (1-2 X 10(7)/ml) were stored in 2-ml ampoules in the gas phase of liquid nitrogen at a temperature between -160 degrees C and -196 degrees C using dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO 10%) as cryoprotectant. Morphology and phagocytic and bactericidal capacity were best preserved by adding fetal calf serum to the freezing mixture, by using an interrupted cooling process, by washing the thawed PMNL in fresh freeze-dried plasma, and centrifuging at 600 g for no more than two minutes. Careful post-thaw handling of the cells was an important factor in preserving function. These preliminary studies indicate that useful numbers of PMNL can be recovered in a functional state after storage for long periods in liquid nitrogen.