Impact of Long-Term Cryopreservation on Blood Immune Cell Markers in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Implications for Biomarker Discovery

Impact of Long-Term Cryopreservation on Blood Immune Cell Markers in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Implications for Biomarker Discovery

Data de publicació online: 17/11/2020 Data de publicació en paper: 17 Novembre 2020 Revista: Frontiers in Immunology

Abstract:

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a complex neuroimmune disorder characterized by numerous symptoms of unknown etiology. The ME/CFS immune markers reported so far have failed to generate a clinical consensus, perhaps partly due to the limitations of biospecimen biobanking. To address this issue, we performed a comparative analysis of the impact of long-term biobanking on previously identified immune markers and also explored additional potential immune markers linked to infection in ME/CFS. A correlation analysis of marker cryostability across immune cell subsets based on flow cytometry immunophenotyping of fresh blood and frozen PBMC samples collected from individuals with ME/CFS (n = 18) and matched healthy controls (n = 18) was performed. The functionality of biobanked samples was assessed on the basis of cytokine production assay after stimulation of frozen PBMCs. T cell markers defining Treg subsets and the expression of surface glycoprotein CD56 in T cells and the frequency of the effector CD8 T cells, together with CD57 expression in NK cells, appeared unaltered by biobanking. By contrast, NK cell markers CD25 and CD69 were notably increased, and NKp46 expression markedly reduced, by long-term cryopreservation and thawing. Further exploration of Treg and NK cell subsets failed to identify significant differences between ME/CFS patients and healthy controls in terms of biobanked PBMCs. Our findings show that some of the previously identified immune markers in T and NK cell subsets become unstable after cell biobanking, thus limiting their use in further immunophenotyping studies for ME/CFS. These data are potentially relevant for future multisite intervention studies and cooperative projects for biomarker discovery using ME/CFS biobanked samples. Further studies are needed to develop novel tools for the assessment of biomarker stability in cryopreserved immune cells from people with ME/CFS.

Autors: Gómez-Mora Elisabet, Carrillo Jorge, Urrea Víctor, Rigau Josepa, Alegre José, Cabrera Cecilia, Oltra Elisa, Castro-Marrero Jesús, Blanco Julià

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