Intracellular Cytokine Staining Assays (ICS assays)
Intracellular flow cytometry, also referred to as intracellular cytokine staining or ICS assay, allows for the analysis of intracellular proteins that are expressed by specific cell types. These types of assays provide rich information concerning cellular function and signaling responses. Fluorescent antibodies specific for cell surface markers can be combined with markers of intracellular cytokine production, apoptosis, proliferation and protein phosphorylation to determine which cellular subsets respond to various stimuli or treatments. The combined use of multiple markers decreases data acquisition time and conserves precious samples, since more parameters can be measured on a per-cell basis.
While other techniques are useful for examination of cytokines, transcription factors or phosphorylated proteins separately, intracellular flow cytometry enables measurement of multiple intracellular markers simultaneously at the single cell level. This provides data on signaling responses, differentiation states and other cellular events. The combined use of antibodies specific for cell surface and intracellular markers enables high resolution comparative analysis of the phenotypic and functional differences with multiple cell types across samples.
FlowMetric has the instrumentation in place to develop and execute ICS assays, utilizing up to 20 parameters (18 colors), which gives plenty of flexibility to researchers for intracellular cytokine staining to be added with cell surface markers in one streamlined panel.