Arthritis Research

Volume 136 of the series Methods in Molecular Medicine pp 3-18

Phenotypic Analysis of B-Cells and Plasma Cells

  • Henrik E. MeiAffiliated withGerman Rheumatism Research Centre
  • , Taketoshi YoshidaAffiliated withGerman Rheumatism Research Centre
  • , Gwendolin MuehlinghausAffiliated withGerman Rheumatism Research Centre
  • , Falk HiepeAffiliated withRheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Charité, Clinic for Internal Medicine
  • , Thomas DörnerAffiliated withInstitute of Transfusion Medicine, Charité
  • , Andreas RadbruchAffiliated withGerman Rheumatism Research Centre
  • , Bimba F. HoyerAffiliated withRheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Charité, Clinic for Internal Medicine

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B-cells and antibody-secreting plasma cells are key players in protective immunity, but also in autoimmune disease. To understand their various functions in the initiation and maintenance of autoimmune pathology, a detailed dissection of their functional diversity is mandatory. This requires a detailed phenotypic classification of the diversity of B-cells. Here, technologies of immunocytometry and ELISpot are described in detail, and their value for phenotypic characterization of cells of the B lineage, as well as for preparative cell sorting, to further characterize them functionally and on the molecular level are described.

Key Words

B-cells plasma cells flow cytometry intracellular Ig surface Ig secreted Ig ELISpot antigen specific memory B-cells naïve B-cells FACS autoimmunity cytometric secretion assay