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ELISpot and ELISA analyses of human IL-21-secreting cells: Impact of blocking IL-21 interaction with cellular receptors
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, The Wenner-Gren Institute, Immunology. Mabtech AB, Sweden.
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2015 (English)In: JIM - Journal of Immunological Methods, ISSN 0022-1759, E-ISSN 1872-7905, Vol. 417, 60-66 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Interleukin (IL)-21 is crucial for the regulation of lymphocytes and is implicated in autoimmune and other diseases. The relevance of being able to measure human IL-21 prompted us to develop ELISA and ELISpot assays for analysis of IL-21 levels and IL-21-producing cells, respectively. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to IL-21 were made and ELISA and ELISpot assays were developed. The selected detection mAb also neutralized IL-21-mediated activation of human cells. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from healthy donors (n = 24) were stimulated polyclonally (phytohemagglutinin; PHA) or with antigen (Candida albicans extract and tetanus toxoid). Using ELISpot, high numbers of IL-21-producing cells were detected after PHA activation; lower but positive responses to antigen were seen in approximately 50% of the donors. In contrast, the ELISA detected IL-21 in supernatants from PHA-activated cells but not from antigen-stimulated cells. When analyzing IL-17A in parallel, PHA and antigens induced detectable responses in ELISpot as well as in ELISA. Hypothesizing that the lack of detectable IL-21 levels after antigenic stimulation was due to a combination of low frequencies of IL-21-secreting cells and consumption of IL-21 by cellular receptors during cell culture, PBMCs (n = 18) were stimulated in the presence of the neutralizing detection mAb. When preventing IL-21 from interacting with its receptor, increased IL-21 levels were found by ELISA after PHA activation and IL-21 could also be measured after antigen stimulation. ELISpot results were unaffected by the addition of the neutralizing mAb. In conclusion, IL-21 secreted by low frequencies of antigen-specific ex vivo-stimulated PBMC can be difficult to detect by ELISA but prevention of IL-21 interaction with its receptor leads to detectable IL-21 levels. In ELISpot, where the cytokine is captured by mAbs on a solid phase immediately upon secretion, blocking the receptor interaction does not affect the detection of IL-21-secreting cells.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 417, 60-66 p.
Keyword [en]
Antigen, ELISA, ELISpot, Interleukin-21, T cell, Th17
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-117042DOI: 10.1016/j.jim.2014.12.007ISI: 000352046500007PubMedID: 25523924OAI: diva2:812321


Available from: 2015-05-18 Created: 2015-05-06 Last updated: 2015-05-18Bibliographically approved

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