Frequencies of human influenza-specific antibody secreting cells or plasmablasts post vaccination from fresh and frozen peripheral blood mononuclear cells

J Immunol Methods. 2009 Jan 1;340(1):42-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jim.2008.09.025. Epub 2008 Nov 6.


The rise in influenza-specific neutralizing antibody levels is proceeded by a burst of antigen-specific antibody secreting cells (ASC) or plasmablasts identified in peripheral blood approximately 5-10 days post immunization. Blood antigen-specific ASC may function as an immune marker of vaccine responses in comparison to the pre- and post-neutralizing titers; however, some have questioned whether there is adequate survival of ASC isolated from peripheral blood after freezing, making multi-center vaccine trials difficult. Here, we demonstrate similar frequencies of influenza-specific ASC from fresh and frozen peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Influenza Hemagglutinin (HA) H1, H3, and H7-specific ASC IgG ELISpots frequencies were compared from the same fresh and frozen PBMC 7 days after 2006 Trivalent Influenza Vaccine (TIV) in 10 young healthy subjects. H1-, H3-, and H7-specific IgG ASC spots/10(6) from fresh PBMC on day 7 were 229+/-341, 98+/-90, and 6+/-11 respectively. Total IgG ASC spots/million PBMC pre- and 7-day post-vaccination were 290+/-188 (0.029% PBMC) and 1691+/-836 (0.17% PBMC) respectively. There was no difference in the H1 -H3-, and total specific ASC IgG ELISpot frequencies from the fresh versus frozen PBMC on day 7 (p=0.43, 0.28, 0.28 respectively). These results demonstrate feasibility of testing whether antigen-specific ASC from frozen PBMC are an early biomarker of long-term antibody responses in multi-center vaccine trials.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Antibody-Producing Cells / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus / immunology
  • Humans
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / immunology*
  • Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype / immunology*
  • Influenza Vaccines / immunology*
  • Influenza Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Influenza, Human / blood
  • Influenza, Human / immunology*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology*
  • Male
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus
  • Influenza Vaccines