Cytometry. Part A : the journal of the International Society for Analytical Cytology 2017 05 25() doi 10.1002/cyto.a.23146
The advent of novel strategies to generate leukemia-associated-antigen (LAA)-specific T cells for adoptive immunotherapies creates a demand for standardized good laboratory practice (GLP)-compliant enumeration assays to provide a secure clinical environment-whether it is to identify potential donors, define therapeutic doses for transplantation, or monitor clinical success. Here, we introduce a no-wash assay based on single-platform cell enumeration and Streptamer staining to determine the Wilms’ tumor antigen 1 (WT1)-specific T cell immunity in clinical samples. We analyzed the performance of the WT1-specific MHC Streptamers in direct comparison to CMV- and EBV-specific MHC Streptamer staining by spiking antigen-specific T cells in PBMCs. The accuracy of the assay was high for all performed experiments with a mean recovery of 94% and a linear regression of 0.988. Differences were apparent regarding the limit of detection/quantification (LOD/LOQ). While results obtained for WT1 yielded an LOD/LOQ of 0.08 ± 0.04% and 0.11 ± 0.06% (1.33 ± 0.32 cells/µl and 1.9 ± 0.14 cells/µl), the overall LOD/LOQ was notably lower and accounted to 0.02 ± 0.02% and 0.05 ± 0.03% (0.60 ± 0.03 cells/µl and 1.27 ± 0.58 cells/µl). Subsequent screening of 22 healthy individuals revealed significantly higher values for WT1 (0.04 ± 0.02% and 1.5 ± 0.9 cells/µl) than for the irrelevant HIV pol (0.016 ± 0.01% and 0.5 ± 0.4 cells/µl). In contrast, no increased frequencies were observed for WT1-specific T cells compared to HIV-specific T cells using a classical wash-protocol. These findings strongly suggest the use of no-wash single-platform assays in combination with MHC Streptamer staining for the detection of low affinity LAA-specific T cells due to its high accuracy and sensitivity. © 2017 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.