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The effect of cryopreservation on antigen-presenting cells (APCs) is understudied. It is important to understand the effects of cryopreservation on these cells as they play a major role in immune responses, and they could be utilized in different clinical applications. In this study, we compared fresh and cryopreserved PBMCs in regards of their general immune responsiveness and, furthermore, the effect of cryopreservation on the circulating APCs among PBMCs. We stimulated fresh and cryopreserved PBMCs (N = 6) with LPS or Poly(I:C).Cytokine production of PBMCs and expression of functional markers CD80 and ILT4 on major types of APCs, dendritic cells (DCs) and monocytes, were analysed. We also analysed whether cryopreservation affects different subtypes of DCs (plasmacytoid and myeloid DCs) differently. Cryopreserved PBMCs produced less cytokines than fresh cells in response to stimulation, but the response profiles were comparable. Cryopreservation had also an effect on the relative proportions of APCs. Stimuli-induced responses were somewhat parallel but weaker than those observed in fresh cells. This study suggests that the use of cryopreserved cells is more suitable in studies that assess general responses to stimuli instead of measuring exact levels of reactions. Thus, the interpretation and comparison of the results of different studies should not be done without considering the differences in cryopreservation techniques and their effects on PBMCs and, more specifically, on APCs. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Maria-Viola Martikainen, Marjut Roponen. Cryopreservation affected the levels of immune responses of PBMCs and antigen-presenting cells. Toxicology in vitro : an international journal published in association with BIBRA. 2020 Sep;67:104918

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PMID: 32565220

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