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Grützner, Eva; Stirner, Renate; Arenz, Lukas; Athanasoulia, Anastasia P.; Schrödl, Kathrin; Berking, Carola; Bogner, Johannes R.; Draenert, Rika (2016): Kinetics of human myeloid-derived suppressor cells after blood draw. In: Journal of Translational Medicine 14:2


Background: Human myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) have been described as a group of immature myeloid cells which exert immunosuppressive action by inhibiting function of T lymphocytes. While there is a huge scientific interest to study these cells in multiple human diseases, the methodological approach varies substantially between published studies. This is problematic as human MDSC seem to be a sensible cell type concerning not only cryopreservation but also time point after blood draw. To date data on delayed blood processing influencing cell numbers and phenotype is missing. We therefore evaluated the kinetics of granulocytic MDSC (gMDSC) and monocytic MDSC (mMDSC) frequencies after blood draw in order to determine the best time point for analysis of this recently defined cell type. Methods: In this study, we isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of patients with HIV infection or solid tumors directly after blood draw. We then analyzed the frequencies of gMDSC and mMDSC 2, 4 and 6 h after blood draw and after an overnight rest by FACS analysis using the standard phenotypic markers. In addition, part of the cells was frozen directly after PBMC preparation and was measured after thawing. Results: gMDSC levels showed no significant difference using fresh PBMC over time with a limitation for the overnight sample. However they were massively diminished after freezing (p = 0.0001 for all subjects). In contrast, frequencies of fresh mMDSC varied over time with no difference between time point 2 and 4 h but a significantly reduction after 6 h and overnight rest (p = 0.0005 and p = 0.005 respectively). Freezing of PBMC decreased the yield of mMDSC reaching statistical significance (p = 0.04). For both MDSC subgroups, FACS analysis became more difficult over time due to less sharp divisions between populations. Conclusions: According to our data human MDSC need to be studied on fresh PBMC. gMDSC can be studied with delay, mMDSC however should be studied no later than 4 h after blood draw. These results are crucial as an increasing number of clinical trials aim at analyzing MDSC nowadays and the logistics of blood processing implies delayed sample processing in some cases.