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Two-second Tip: CD45RA and CD45RO are interchangeable in peripheral blood T-cells.

March 19, 2017

When designing T-cell panels for use on peripheral blood samples, the CD45 isoforms RA and RO are really great for discriminating naive and memory cells.  When coupled with another marker-  like CCR7, CD27, or CD57 -  you can identify subpopulations of memory cells, like central, transitional, effector.  We don't really measure CD45RA and RO in the same panel, though, because they mostly have inverse expression - cells high for CD45RA are low for CD45RO, and vice versa:

 

 You can take advantage of this in panel building.  A couple of months ago, I was building another T-cell differentiation panel, and found that the only CD45RO reagent I hadn't run out of looked terrible (probably because I was scraping the bottom of the vial for reagent).  Luckily, I had a different channel open and a CD45RA antibody, so I substituted that reagent in my next experiment.  Score!

 

 Much better staining.  Two-second tip: Sub out CD45RA for RO (or vice versa) to help panel building.

 

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