Mass cytometry assays for antigen-specific T cells using CyTOF®

Lin, D., Maecker, H.T.

T cells specific for a single antigen tend to be rare, even after expansion of memory cells. They are commonly detected by in vitro stimulation with peptides or protein, followed by staining for intracellular cytokines. In this protocol, we use CyTOF mass cytometry to collect single-cell data on a large number of cytokines/chemokines, as well as cell-surface proteins that characterize T cells and other immune cells. We also include a method for magnetic bead enrichment of antigen-stimulated T cells, based on their expression of CD154 and CD69. Coupling magnetic enrichment with highly multi-parameter mass cytometry, this method enables the ability to dissect the frequency, phenotype, and function of antigen-specific T cells in greater detail than previously possible. Rare cell subsets can be examined, while minimizing run times on the CyTOF.


Lin, D., Maecker, H.T. "Mass cytometry assays for antigen-specific T cells using CyTOF®" Flow Cytometry Protocols (2017): 37–47