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The influence of fixation and cryopreservation of cerebrospinal fluid on antigen expression and cell percentages by flow cytometric analysis

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posted on 2024-02-12, 10:34 authored by G Singh, A van Laarhoven, R Adams, TD Reid, J Combrinck, S van Dorp, C Riou, N Thango, J Enslin, S Kruger, AA Figaji, UK Rohlwink
The pauci-cellular nature of cerebrospinal (CSF), particularly ventricular CSF, and the rapid cell death following sampling, incumbers the use of flow cytometric analysis of these samples in the investigation of central nervous system (CNS) pathologies. Developing a method that allows long-term storage and batched analysis of CSF samples without compromising cell integrity is highly desirable in clinical research, given that CSF is often sampled after hours creating logistical difficulties for fresh processing. We examined percentages and relative proportion of peripheral and brain-derived immune cells in cryopreserved and transfix-treated CSF, compared to freshly processed CSF. Cell proportions were more comparable between Fresh and Cryopreserved CSF (mean of differences = 3.19), than between fresh and transfix-treated CSF (mean of differences = 14.82). No significant differences in cell percentages were observed in fresh versus cryopreserved CSF; however significantly lower cell percentages were observed in transfix-treated CSF compared to Fresh CSF [(CD11b++ (p = 0.01), CD4+ (p = 0.001), CD8+ (p = 0.007), NK cells (p = 0.04), as well as CD69+ activation marker (p = 0.001)]. Furthermore, loss of marker expression of various lymphocyte sub-populations were observed in transfix-treated CSF. Cryopreservation is a feasible option for long-term storage of ventricular CSF and allows accurate immunophenotyping of peripheral and brain-derived cell populations by flow cytometry.


Medical Research Council (Grant ID: MR/P028071/1, Grant title: GCRF-Crick African Network MR/P028071/1)


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