The use of flow cytometry to discriminate avian lymphocytes from contaminating thrombocytes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Evaluation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in avian species by flow cytometry is complicated by the presence of large numbers of nucleated thrombocytes. With light scattering properties similar to those of lymphocytes, variations in the proportion of thrombocytes in PBMC can result in apparent shifts in percentages of lymphocyte subpopulations. We have applied a dual-labeling procedure for flow cytometric analyses to exclude thrombocytes from the analyzed population by labeling with K55 monoclonal antibody (MAb), which differentially labeled leukocyte and thrombocyte populations. Flow cytometric analyses with K55 labeled chicken PBMC differentiated leukocytes into three populations according to their intensity of fluorescence. Using the Kl MAb, the K55-low population was shown to consist of thrombocytes. Dual-labeling with K55 MAb and MAb specific for B lymphocyte, CD4 or CD8 markers indicated that the K55 intermediate population consisted of lymphocytes. Therefore, concentrations of CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes could be determined from the lymphocyte fraction by gating specifically on the K55 intermediate cells. Selecting cross-reactive chicken MAbs that included K55, this protocol was shown to identify CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes in PBMC of another avian species, the endangered Attwater's prairie chicken.

published proceedings

  • Dev Comp Immunol

author list (cited authors)

  • Bohls, R. L., Smith, R., Ferro, P. J., Silvy, N. J., Li, Z., & Collisson, E. W.

citation count

  • 33

complete list of authors

  • Bohls, Ryan L||Smith, Roger||Ferro, Pam J||Silvy, Nova J||Li, Zhongxia||Collisson, Ellen W

publication date

  • January 2006