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 L. Alfonso, Ravi Lokwani, Sabrina Destefano, Maria Karkanitsa, Jacquelyn Spathies, Stephen M. Goldman, Christopher L. Dearth, Kaitlyn N. Sadtler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


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 immunological 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 24 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 immunological studies with functional studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-95
Number of pages12
JournalCells Tissues Organs
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Flow cytometry
  • Immune response
  • Lymphoid organs
  • Tissue injury


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