Ask A Scientist:
Can I Get Different Cell Types from the Same Donor?

ask a scientist

ask a scientistCustomers often come to us looking for multiple cell types from the same donor, or for a new cell type from the same donor as another cell type they already purchased. We recently got two such requests:

“Can I get NK cells, monocytes and dendritic cells all from the same donor?”

“I recently bought CD4+ T cells from donor 362. Can I get CD4+ T cells from the same donor?”

We are happy to help with these types of requests, and in most cases can fulfill donor-specific orders. However, in many cases, the more appropriate question is “Should I get different cell types from the same donor?”

When You Should Pursue the Same Donor

Sometimes different cell types all from the same donor are exactly what you need.

  • Having cells from the same donor can give you the confidence to conclude that differences in response are due to the cell type rather than differences in donor characteristics.
  • If you’re working with antigen-specific responses, autologous cells are essential.

Other times, a variety of donors should be tested rather than focusing on one specific donor.

When You Should Use Multiple Donors

Donors have differences in cytokine production, cell proliferation and antigen-specific responses. For example, in our contract research work we have observed ten-fold differences in cytokine production using monocytes from different donors. If you’re looking at a drug candidate to alter cytokine production, you should use different donors so you can get a complete picture of the drug effect.

We get a lot of interest in donors with HLA-A*0201 expression because it’s a common allele in Caucasian populations. You wouldn’t think that using the most common allele would be a limiting factor in your research, but it can be when combined with a couple of other characteristics, such as CMV seropositivity or gender.

Instead of using one donor, consider broadening the horizons of human immunology beyond HLA-A*0201 to include donors who express other HLA alleles. For example, approximately 30% of the European Caucasian population expresses HLA-A*01 and about 26% express B*07. HLA-A*11 is the most common allele in Asian populations.

Using cells from multiple donors can make your experiments more representative of the human population, broaden the application of your research, and expand your available pool of subjects.

If you’re looking for donors with specific characteristics, use our Search by Donor tool, or submit a custom request. You can also view the Certificate of Analysis for each product to see additional details.

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