DMSO (Me2SO) concentrations of 1-2% in combination with pentaisomaltose are effective for cryopreservation of T cells

Transfus Apher Sci. 2021 Aug;60(4):103138. doi: 10.1016/j.transci.2021.103138. Epub 2021 Apr 16.


T cell based treatments in the setting of allogenic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) have been used for decades. In addition, the use of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells has been introduced as a promising cancer immunotherapy. A prerequisite for many of these treatments is the ability to cryopreserve the cells safely and efficiently. In the present study, we compared freezing media combinations containing pentaisomaltose and 1-2 % DMSO (PIM1 and PIM2, respectively) to 10 % DMSO and commercially available cryosolutions (CS2 and CS10, Cryostor® containing 2 and 10 % DMSO, respectively) for cryopreservation of T cells. T cells isolated from buffy coats from healthy donors were cryopreserved with different freezing media and analysed for 1) viability immediately post-thaw and the following 24 h, 2) recovery, 3) proliferative potential and 4) migration towards a gradient of SDF-1α. The results showed that PIM2 was superior to 10 % DMSO and comparable to CS10 when assessing viability. Furthermore, the results indicated that the T cells cryopreserved with 10 % DMSO showed the lowest proliferative potential. The expression levels of CXCR3, CXCR4 and VLA-4 were similar in T cells independent of the freezing media used; however, T cells cryopreserved with PIM2 demonstrated the highest migratory potential. In summary, the combination of pentaisomaltose and 1-2 % DMSO improves the cryoprotective properties compared to 10 % DMSO while achieving comparable results with CS10 and even showing improved migration towards SDF-1α. Thus, our results show promising potential for pentaisomaltose in combination with low amounts of DMSO for the cryopreservation of T cells.

Keywords: Cryopreservation; DMSO; Pentaisomaltose; T cells.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Donors*
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cell Survival
  • Cryopreservation*
  • Cryoprotective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Isomaltose* / analogs & derivatives
  • Isomaltose* / pharmacology
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*


  • Cryoprotective Agents
  • Isomaltose
  • Dimethyl Sulfoxide