HIV infection is an excellent model to analyze T-cell death. However, the plethora of factors limiting T-cell survival in infected individuals makes it extremely complex. In this regard, the analysis of cell-death pathways may be useful to evaluate apoptosis triggers and to measure immunological dysfunction. Massanella and co-workers have developed a simple, fast and flexible assay to assess major lymphocyte cell-death pathways.
Read about it in the July 2013 issue of Cytometry Part A in the article:
Assessing main death pathways in T lymphocytes from HIV infected individuals (pages 648–658)
Marta Massanella, Marta Curriu, Jorge Carrillo, Elisabet Gómez, Jordi Puig, Jordi Navarro, Judith Dalmau, Javier Martínez-Picado, Manel Crespo, Cecilia Cabrera, Eugènia Negredo, Bonaventura Clotet and Julià Blanco
The assay measures mitochondrial membrane potential (using DIOC6(3) or JC-1) and plasma membrane integrity (using PI or SytoxBlue) in gated CD3+CD4+ or CD3+CD8+ cells either treated or not with pan-caspase inhibitors. While, the assay yielded consistent results for different probes and inhibitors in CD4 T cells; DIOC6(3) staining detected higher levels of cell death in CD8 T cells than JC-1, which showed a particular heterogeneous staining in these cells. Exploring the cause(s) for mitochondrial staining heterogeneity in CD8 T cells and its functional relationships with immune activation or senescence deserves further attention.