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Streamlining Immune Cell Activation Analysis in Animal and Human Samples

By Samantha Bussell / Dec 18, 2017

Immune cell analysis has become a heightened priority in the development of novel therapeutic medicines. The complexity of cell interactions makes evaluation inherently difficult, requiring in vitro analysis of each cell type. There have been significant strides in research to support large-scale immune interaction of various cells such as CTen (Cell Type Enrichment) and GSEA (Gene Set Enrichment Analysis), however, these methods calculate enrichment scores according to the presence of a gene query over predefined gene set and don’t account for expression information as they are qualitative in nature. This tactic is beneficial for research surrounding single cell activation during treatment and isn’t necessarily representative to mixed typing from a tissue derived sample.

In effort to support quantitative immune cell analysis, Osaka University and The National Institutes of Biomedical Innovation teamed up to develop an Immune Cell Population (ICEPOP) computational program which estimates relative immune response. ICEPOP uses gene expression values and known genes from both mouse and human biospecimens and calculates the relative response scores defined from public expression databases (i.e. ImmGen and IRIS). The researchers tested their hypothesis on vaccine-adjuvants and controls in mouse spleen, human PBMCs, and gut biopsy samples, focusing on two models: human papilloma virus vaccination and inflammatory bowel disease treatment with Infliximab. Subsequently, DEGs (gene expression difference between control versus treated) were leveraged as inputs and contaminate markers were removed from the selection. After processing the sample information, an activation score was assigned and compared to know methods of analysis (CTen and GSEA). In both mouse and human evaluation, the platform quantified the responding immune cell types.

Does this development impact current studies being conducted at your organization or are you in need of samples to support research? BioIVT, the complete resource for all biologicals, has animal/human product availability along with specialized services to support immune analysis including:

  • An expansive PBMC selection, including leukopak capabilities
  • Biofluid with immunotherapy data
  • Primary cells from oncology and disease lung cohorts
  • Custom cell isolation
  • Gene expression services (ISH, qRT-PCR, laser capture microdissection, mutation analysis)


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