BACKGROUND: Flow cytometry is a powerful tool for the multiparameter analysis of leukocyte subsets on the single cell level. Recent advances have greatly increased the number of fluorochrome-labeled antibodies in flow cytometry. In particular, an increase in available fluorochromes with distinct excitation and emission spectra combined with novel multicolor flow cytometers with several lasers have enhanced the generation of multidimensional expression data for leukocytes and other cell types. However, these advances have mainly benefited the analysis of human or mouse cell samples given the lack of reagents for most animal species. The flow cytometric analysis of important veterinary, agricultural, wildlife, and other animal species is still hampered by several technical limitations, even though animal species other than the mouse can serve as more accurate models of specific human physiology and diseases.
RESULTS: Here we present time-tested approaches that our laboratory regularly uses in the multiparameter flow cytometric analysis of ovine leukocytes. The discussed approaches will be applicable to the analysis of cells from most animal species and include direct modification of antibodies by covalent conjugation or Fc-directed labeling (Zenon™ technology), labeled secondary antibodies and other second step reagents, labeled receptor ligands, and antibodies with species cross-reactivity.
CONCLUSIONS: Using refined technical approaches, the number of parameters analyzed by flow cytometry per cell sample can be greatly increased, enabling multidimensional analysis of rare samples and giving critical insight into veterinary and other less commonly analyzed species. By maximizing information from each cell sample, multicolor flow cytometry can reduce the required number of animals used in a study.
Hunka, Julia; Riley, John T.; and Debes, Gudrun F., "Approaches to overcome flow cytometry limitations in the analysis of cells from veterinary relevant species" (2020). Department of Microbiology and Immunology Faculty Papers. Paper 116.
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