Ask A Scientist:What’s the Difference Between Human Monocytes and Macrophages?

Monocytes and macrophages are very closely related cells with a few important distinctions and different use cases. Put simply, monocytes are macrophages in the blood; macrophages are monocytes in tissue.   Understanding the Difference Monocytes are the largest type of white blood cells and play an important role in the adaptive immunity process. Monocytes typically…

Ask A Scientist: How to Use Antigen-Specific T Cells as a Control for Tetramer Staining

Peptide-MHC tetramer staining is a common practice with both R&D and clinical applications in infectious disease investigations, vaccine development, immunotherapy and autoimmunity research, and transplantation. Experimentally, this method can be used to measure detailed T cell responses and functions. Clinically, peptide-MHC tetramer staining is used to count, track, and phenotype T cells during infections and…

Ask A Scientist: What Antigens Can Stimulate IFNγ Producing CD8+ T Cells?

A curious researcher recently asked us to suggest suitable antigens that could stimulate IFNγ producing CD8+ T cells.  The short answer: Virus proteins.  But as with anything in immunology and virology, there is a longer, more complicated explanation as well.    Protein Antigens vs. Peptide Antigens CD8+ T cells normally recognize antigens that are produced…