Shreffler:JAX Tcell studies

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Revision as of 10:35, 23 March 2010 by Wayne G. Shreffler (talk | contribs) (Collection of Supernatants)


This is a protocol designed for characterizing the mouse allergen (Mus m1)-specific T cell phenotype during the JAX study.


  • On average, 18mL of whole heparinized blood/patient will be given.
  • target to isolate 8 x 106 (8 million) cells for 48 hour culture
  • Phosphate buffered saline (PBS)
  • Ficoll Paque Plus [Endotoxin tested], room temperature.
  • Staining buffer (PBS + 5g BSA/L + 2mM EDTA)
  • Sterile phosphate buffered saline (PBS), room temperature
  • AIM V Media (w/HSA). Invitrogen # 0870112DK (Expires 1 month after opening)
  • Cluster tubes or Cryovial tubes and racks.
  • Turk Blood Diluting Fluid (RICCA # 8850-16).
  • Sterile conical tubes (15mL, 50mL)
  • CD3, CD28 expander beads (Invitrogen 111-61D)
  • Sterile, graduated transfer pipettes.
  • Mus M1 (50µl) aliquot tube.
  • A solution of 20% DMSO + PBS.
  • Hemocytometer or disposable slides for the automated counter or manual counter
  • 50 mL Accuspin tubes, radiation sterilized. (Sigma #A-2055)
  • Sterile 5mL polypropylene round-bottom tubes
  • β-mercaptoethanol (Sigma #M7522)
  • 1.5 mL DNase, RNase free Eppendorf tubes (Fisher #05-402-25)


Isolation of Mononuclear Cells

(Sterile Technique)

This is a sterile procedure and all steps should be performed in a hood.

  1. Turn on the hood. Bring Ficoll and PBS to 20°C in the hood.
  2. Obtain whole blood specimens collected in sodium heparin (green top) collection tubes and record subject information, i.e. ID #, date collected, date received.
  3. If performing Basophil Activation assay on this sample, set aside 3mL of whole blood.
  4. Place 15 mL of Ficoll in a 50 mL accuspin conical tube. Centrifuge at 800 g for 1 minute.
  5. Dilute remaining blood at 1:1 with PBS in 50 mL conical tubes.
  6. Add up to 30mL of diluted blood to the accuspin tube.
  7. Centrifuge at 500 g for 30 minutes at room temperature (slow acceleration, deceleration off to ensure no disruption of the density gradient).
  8. Using a sterile transfer pipette, aspirate the buffy coat (peripheral blood mononuclear cells [PBMCs]) into a new 50 mL conical tube. (Avoid aspirating the Ficoll.) Add PBS to bring to a minimum of 2x the volume, inverting up and down to mix.
  9. Centrifuge at 500 g for 20 minutes at room temperature (maximum acceleration and deceleration).
  10. Aspirate and discard the supernatant. Resuspend the cell pellet first by tapping the tube until no clumps are visible, then adding PBS for a total volume of 1 mL. Set aside a 10 µL aliquot of cells for counting as follows: place the 10 µL of cells into 90 µL of PBS, and add 100 µL of Turk's Solution. Mix well, and let it sit for 1 minute before counting.
  11. Add 19 mL of PBS to the cells in 990 µL to make a total volume of ~20 mL and centrifuge at 300 g for 15 minutes at room temperature (maximum acceleration and deceleration).
  12. In order to determine the volume to use for resuspending the PBMCs after the wash, the total number of cells in the sample must be determined.
  13. Carefully introduce 10 µL of the stained cells into the notch of a hemocytometer and record cell counts using a hand-held counter. Calculate the number of cells, taking into account the dilution factors and sample volume used. Or place 20 µL of the stained cells onto a disposable slide and count using the automated cell counter.
  14. After centrifugation is completed, aspirate and discard the supernatant. Resuspend the cell pellet by tapping the tube until no clumps are visible. Suspend PBMCs with PBS at 10 x 106/ml in 15 ml PP conical tube.

PBMC Stimulation

(Sterile Technique)

  1. Remove stimulants from the freezer and thaw.
  2. Label 5 mL sterile polypropylene tubes, each well with the appropriate stimulant condition, ordered by priority (for cases where there are insufficient cells to test all stimulants).
    1. Musm1 (allergen): @ 200 μg/mL purified Musm1 protein in Aim-V.
    2. AIM-V (negative control): AIM-V medium alone.
    3. Beads (positive control): 1μg/mL anti-CD3/CD28 beads.
  3. Wash and resuspend freshly isolated PBMCs in AIM-V medium @ 4 x 106 cells/mL (cell suspension). For culture, each tube will contain 2 x 106 cells (0.5 mL).
  4. Prepare solutions for each stimulant condition as follows:
    • 200 μg/mL MusM1 in AIM-V: place 450 μL of AIM-V in the appropriately labeled tube and add 50 μL of allergen (MusM1). Then add 500 μL of cell suspension. Pipette up and down.
    • AIM-V medium alone: place 500 μL of AIM-V in the appropriately labeled tube and add 500 μL of cell suspension. Pipette up and down.
    • 1 μg/mL anti-CD3, anti-CD28 beads in AIM-V: place 500 μL of AIM-V in the appropriately labeled tube and add 2.5 μL of CD3, CD28 expander beads. Then add 500 μL of cell suspension. Pipette up and down.
    • Place the tissue culture plate in the 37°C CO2 incubator for 48 hours.

Collection of Supernatants

(non-sterile technique)

  1. Cell culture supernatants will be collected for cytokine measurement after 48 hour culture.
  2. After 48 hours, mix the cells carefully by pipetting up and down to resuspend cells in the tube to evenly mix any secreted cytokine.
  3. Centrifuge tubes at 300g for 5 minutes at 25°C.
  4. Obtain a cluster tube rack for the storage of supernatants.
  5. Label two cluster tubes for each culture tube as follows:
    1. Specimen ID
    2. Date
    3. Supernatants - 48 hour
    4. Stimulant condition 1-3
      1. Stimulant 1 = MusM1
      2. Stimulant 2 = AIM-V
      3. Stimulant 3 = Beads
    For each stimulant, using a 1000μL pipette tip, transfer 400μL of supernatant from the culture tube into each corresponding cluster tube in the cluster rack. Be careful not to disturb the cell pellets.
    Note: There will be two aliquots of supernatant collected for each culture. These should be stored in two separate cluster tube boxes and shipped on separate days to minimize the risk of loss during storage/ shipment.
  6. Cap the cluster tubes and store in the –80°C freezer.

T regulatory cell surface staining

(non-sterile technique)

  1. Add 1mL of staining buffer to each tube and vortex.
  2. Centrifuge cells at 300 g for 10 minutes at 4°C. Decant supernatant.
  3. Prepare 145 μL mAb cocktail in eppendorf tube:
    • CD25-PCy5 (30 μL)
    • CD4-PC7 (15 μL)
    • CD3-APC7 (15 μL)
    • 85 μL staining buffer
    Vortex. Store in fridge (light-sensitive) until ready for use]
  4. Add 45 μL of the cocktail to each tube.
  5. Incubate @ 4°C for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Add ~3mL of staining buffer to each tube and vortex.
  7. Centrifuge at 300 g for 10 minutes at 4°C. Decant supernatant. Resuspend cells.
  8. To fix/freeze the cells, pipette 500μl of 1X Facs Lysing Solution into each tube and incubate @ 25°C in the dark for 15 minutes.
  9. Prepare a solution of 20% DMSO in PBS
    Add 440 μL DMSO to 1.8 mL PBS. Vortex.
  10. After the incubation, gradually pipette 500μl of the 20% DMSO + PBS solution into each tube.
  11. Transfer the 1ml of cells + 1X Facs Lysis Buffer + 20% DMSO/PBS solution into an appropriately labeled cluster tubes, and freeze at -80°C for shipment to MGH.


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