Lysis with Saponin improves detection of the response through CD203c and CD63 in the basophil activation test after crosslinking of the high affinity IgE receptor FcεRI
1 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus University, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
2 Institute of Pharmacology, Aarhus University, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Clinical and Molecular Allergy 2005, 3:10 doi:10.1186/1476-7961-3-10Published: 4 July 2005
The basophil activation test (BAT), in which translocation of markers to the surface of blood basophils is measured in response to allergen by flow cytometry, is a rapid assay that is gaining popularity. Two markers are currently being evaluated for the BAT; CD63 and the lineage-specific CD203c. In a recent report, detection of CD203c after lysis with Saponin was shown to be superior to detection of CD63 after lysis with formic acid. We wanted to compare a) lysis with formic acid and lysis with Saponin, b) the response through CD203c and CD63, and c) the definition 10% activated cells above background with the probability binning metric T(χ) > 4, on sets of data generated with blood basophils stimulated with varying concentrations of anti-FcεRI antibody.
Blood from volunteers was incubated with serial logarithmic dilutions of anti-FcεRI and subsequently with antibodies to CD203c PE and CD63 FITC. Sets of samples set up in parallel were lysed with either Saponin based Whole Blood Lysing reagent or with formic acid based Immunoprep/Q-prep. Samples were acquired on a FACS Calibur, but were compensated and analysed offline. Responders were defined as persons who had 10% or more activated basophils above background, or a T(χ) > 4, for two consecutive dilutions of anti-FcεRI antibody.
More basophils (median 1164 vs. median 397) and better discrimination of upregulated CD203c and CD63 amongst responders were obtained after lysis with Saponin than after lysis with formic acid. We suggest that CD203c may be a more sensitive marker for the BAT than CD63, as 6/11 responders were found with CD203c, compared with 3/11 with CD63. Most responders (7/11) were identified with probability binning.
A combination of lysis with Saponin and the markers CD203c and CD63 computed by probability binning may be the most sensitive method of detecting activation of basophils after stimulation through FcεRI.