October 2021 Share
The primary function of B cells is antibody production. They are called B cells because they mature in the bone marrow, while T cells mature in the thymus. Receptors on the surface of a B cell bind to foreign antigens and develop antibodies that suppress that specific pathogen. Understanding more about how B cells work can provide insight into the human immune system.
To properly study B cells, they need to be isolated from surrounding cell populations and preserved. Due to the rarity and fragility of B cells, they can be more difficult to collect and isolate than other leukocytes. Ideally, there would be an abundance of human B cells to study; sometimes, however, that is not the case and researchers must look elsewhere for reference.
Murine cells are often used as a substitute for human cells when performing immunological experiments. While current genomic studies show that there are only around 300 genes that differ between mice and humans, there are a variety of differences between the two. Both the adaptive and innate immune responses activate in their own way. There are some aspects of the human immune response that don’t occur in mice. If these differences are not accounted for, experimental tests may not provide accurate results for modeling human reactions.
Beyond inconsistencies in performance, there are also cell sample differences that can influence the cell separation process. In humans, for example, blood is rich with neutrophils. The balance between neutrophils and lymphocytes is about 70%-30% respectively. In mice, the weight shifts over to lymphocytes, with around 80% lymphocytes and only 20% neutrophils. This can affect a researcher’s ability to isolate specific cell populations from one tissue or the other.
If a laboratory is trying to study neutrophils, they might struggle to extract a sufficient, healthy sample from mouse tissue. This is one reason why mouse lymphocyte enrichment is relatively popular. The abundance of T and B cells in certain murine organs makes them a prime candidate for cell extraction.
When dealing explicitly with murine lymphocytes, there is also a difference between individual types. B cell and T cell populations within mouse organs are not equivalent. One murine organ with a high concentration of lymphocytes is the spleen. Within the mouse spleen, around 25% of the leukocytes are T cells, and 50% are B cells (the remaining 25% consisting of neutrophils, monocytes, dendritic cells, etc.).
Murine T cells and murine B cells can be beneficial for human immunological research. When isolating mouse B cells, it helps to target high concentration organs such as the spleen to collect the largest possible sample.
Even though there are areas where mouse B cells can be found in higher concentrations, that does not mean they are always readily available. Different types of B cells are present in the body at different times, and sometimes scientists may be looking for B cells activated in a specific way. For this reason, it’s important to be careful when enriching a B cell population. Gentle mouse B cell enrichment methods increase the throughput of cell separation assays while also maintaining cell health and physiology.
Many traditional mouse B cell enrichment methods have been known to damage fragile cell populations and require expensive resources to carry out. The magnetic field in magnetic-based cell separation methods can cause cells to lyse; methods like flow cytometry and centrifugation rely on harsh physical forces to sort cells, which could lead to shearing and ultimately more cell death. Buoyancy activated cell sorting, or BACS, is a gentle mouse B cell enrichment strategy that maintains cell viability throughout the isolation process.
BACS uses small glass bubbles coated with streptavidin that binds to biotinylated antibody-labeledcells. Once attached, the bubbles effortlessly float these cells to the top of the solution for removal or collection. No additional equipment beyond the microbubble kit is necessary, and the entire workflow only takes 30 minutes for mouse B cell isolation. One kit is designed to isolate up to one billion cells. Check out our product page for more information on our Mouse B Cell Isolation Kit and see how it works. We also have an available Human B Cell Isolation Kit if that is more your area.
If you work in a laboratory or environment that deals consistently with mouse B cell isolation, partner with us. We are constantly on the hunt for new researchers and partners to develop commercial or scientific relationships with.
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