Comparison of Culture Media for In Vitro T Cell Expansion and Function: SITC 2018 Research

Our team recently presented our findings on the effect of culture medium and supplementation on T cell proliferation and function at SITC 2018. The research was well-received, and we thank each of you who stopped by to ask questions.

If you weren’t at SITC or missed our presentation, the full abstract and poster are below.

In light of this research, we have some exciting news to share! In 2019, we will be launching a new media product to offer a more complete, research-ready experience. You’ll be able to purchase media directly from Astarte and receive it in your shipment alongside your immune cell products. How convenient is that?

To stay up to date on our media product release, sign up to receive product alerts.

And now for our research.

Comparison of Culture Media for In Vitro T Cell Expansion and Function

Background

Identification of a reliable culture media to support in vitro T cell studies has become an important link in the chain of various Immuno-Oncology strategies. While many labs have chosen one favorite media for their T cell culture needs, it may be prudent to identify alternatives that can perform suitably, whether one works in the development of cell-based assays to screen potential drug candidates or generates and expands antigen-specific T cells. To address this issue, we have conducted a series of studies comparing the performance of several culture media.

Methods

A list of culture media (including several classic media + supplements as well as several new media) was compared to several commercially available T cell media in the generation of primary MLR (mixed-lymphocyte reaction), antigen-recall assay (e.g., CMV, tetanus), antigen-specific T cell proliferation assay, as well as in anti-CD3/CD28 driven T cell expansion culture.

Results

Classical media supplemented with several defined components can support primary in vitro responses as measured by cytokine production. Sustained T cell proliferation demanded additional supplementation and revealed greater differences between media. One representative data from these studies is included in this abstract.  

This experiment demonstrates the effect of human AB serum (HS) or fetal bovine serum (FBS) added to the culture medium X-VIVO 15 (Lonza, Walkersville, MD). At low peptide concentrations (3 and 10 ng/mL), the presence of HS and FBS inhibits T cell proliferation compared to X-VIVO 15 alone.

Conclusions

Media selection affects both T cell proliferation and function and therefore is critical to the success of adoptive T cell therapies.  The strengths and shortcomings of several media are revealed in these data.

Click to enlarge the image.

Comparison of Culture Media for In Vitro T Cell Expansion and Function: SITC 2018 Research

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