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14 Ways to Measure Immune Cell Activation

In this tutorial:

We’ll discuss specific assays in each of these categories, the joys and pitfalls of each assay, and recommendations on how to choose the best method. You will learn tips and strategies for successful assay development using the following methods:


  • 3H-Thymidine Uptake
  • Bromodeoxyuridine Uptake (BrdU)
  • ATP Luminescence
  • Fluorescent Dye Reduction (CFSE)

Cytokine Measurement:

  • Multiplex vs. Single Cytokine
  • Choice of Cytokine (IFNg, TNFa, IL-6, IL-1?, etc.)
  • Kinetics of Cytokine Release

Surface Antigen Expression:

  • CD69, CD25, PD-1, etc.
  • Combine with CFSE, Ki67 or BrdU
  • Kinetics are Important


    • Two-Label Flow Cytometry
    • Calcein AM Dye Release
    • Luciferase Transduced Targets
    • Annexin V


Anne Lodge

Anne Lodge

CEO of Astarte Biologics

Tutorial abstract

Activation of immune cells is the all-important first step in mounting an immune response. Immune cell activation is a popular area of research because so much happens that is key to the downstream goal of fighting infection, cancer, and disease.

There are many ways to measure immune cell activation, and they all have utility. Methods can be grouped into four main categories: Proliferation Assays, Cytokine Measurement, Surface Antigen Expression, and Cytotoxicity.

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[Astarte] Webinar Sept 19 2018 14 Ways to Measure

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