Development of a high-color flow cytometry panel for immunologic analysis of tissue injury and reconstruction in a rat model

Kenneth M Adusei, Tran B Ngo, Andrea Lucia Alfonso, Ravi Lokwani, Sabrina DeStefano, Maria Karkanitsa, Jacquelyn Spathies, Stephen M Goldman, Christopher L Dearth, Kaitlyn Noelle Sadtler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rat model is an important resource in biomedical research due to its similarities to the human immune system and its use for functional studies. However, because of the preponderance of mouse models in foundational and mechanistic immunologic studies, there is a relative lack of diverse, commercially available flow cytometry antibodies for immunological profiling in the rat model. Available antibodies are often conjugated to common fluorophores with similar peak emission wavelengths, making them hard to distinguish on conventional flow cytometers and restricting more comprehensive immune analysis. This can become a limitation when designing immunological studies in rat injury models to investigate the immune response to tissue injury. In addition, this lack of available antibodies limits the number of studies that can be done on the immune populations in lymphoid organs in other research areas. To address this critical unmet need, we designed a spectral flow cytometry panel for rat models. Spectral cytometry distinguishes between different fluorophores by capturing their full emission spectra instead of their peak emission wavelengths. This flow cytometry panel includes twenty-four distinct immune cell markers to analyze the innate and adaptive immune response. Importantly, this panel identifies different immune phenotypes, including tolerogenic, Type 1, and Type 2 immune responses. We show that this panel can identify unique immune populations and phenotypes in a rat muscle trauma model. We further validated that the panel can identify distinct adaptive and innate immune populations and their unique phenotypes in lymphoid organs. This panel expands the scope of previous rat panels providing a tool for scientists to examine the immune system in homeostasis and injury while pairing mechanistic immunologic studies with functional studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCells Tissues Organs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 22 Apr 2022


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