Primate Monocytes - CD14, CD16 - Ziegler-Heitbrock


Peripheral blood mononuclear cell phenotype and function are maintained after overnight shipping of whole blood.


Same day processing of biospecimens such as blood is not always feasible, which presents a challenge for research programs seeking to study a broad population or to characterize patients with rare diseases. Recruiting sites may not be equipped to process blood samples and variability in timing and technique employed to isolate peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) at local sites may compromise reproducibility across patients. One solution is to send whole blood collected by routine phlebotomy via overnight courier to the testing site under ambient conditions. Determining the impact of shipping on subsequent leukocyte responses is a necessary prerequisite to any experimental analysis derived from transported samples. To this end, whole blood was collected from healthy control subjects and processed fresh or at 6, 24 and 48 h after collection and handling under modeled shipping conditions. At endpoint, whole blood was assessed via a complete blood count with differential and immunophenotyped using a standardized panel of antibodies [HLADR, CD66b, CD3, CD14, CD16]. PBMCs and neutrophils were isolated from whole blood and subjected to ex vivo stimulation with lipopolysaccharide and heat-killed Staphylococcus aureus. Stimulated release of cytokines and chemokines was assessed by cytometric bead array. RNA was also isolated from PBMCs to analyze transcriptional changes induced by shipping. The complete blood count with differential revealed that most parameters were maintained in shipped blood held for 24 h at ambient temperature. Immunophenotyping indicated preservation of cellular profiles at 24 h, although with broadening of some populations and a decrease in CD16 intensity on classical monocytes. At the transcriptional level, RNAseq analysis identified upregulation of a transcription factor module associated with inflammation in unstimulated PBMCs derived from whole blood shipped overnight. However, these changes were limited in both scale and number of impacted genes. Ex vivo stimulation of PBMCs further revealed preservation of functional responses in cells isolated from shipped blood held for 24 h at ambient temperature. However, neutrophil responses were largely abrogated by this time. By 48 h neither cell population responded within normal parameters. These findings indicate that robust immunophenotyping and PBMC stimulated response profiles are maintained in whole blood shipped overnight and processed within 24 h of collection, yielding results that are representative of those obtained from the sample immediately following venipuncture. This methodology is feasible for many patient recruitment sites to implement and allows for sophisticated immunological analysis of patient populations derived from large geographic areas. With regard to rare disease research, this meets a universal need to enroll patients in sufficient numbers for immunoprofiling and discovery of underlying pathogenic mechanisms.

Authors: Johnson RK, Overlee BL, Sagen JA, Howe CL,
Journal: Sci Rep;2022Nov19; 12 (1) 19920. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-24550-6
Year: 2022
PubMed: PMID: 36402888 (Go to PubMed)