Multi-center harmonization of flow cytometers in the context of the European “PRECISESADS” project

Christophe Jamin, Lucas Le Lann, Damiana Alvarez-Errico, Nuria Barbarroja, Tineke Cantaert, Julie Ducreux, Aleksandra Maria Dufour, Velia Gerl, Katja Kniesch, Esmeralda Neves, Elena Trombetta, Marta E. Alarcón-Riquelme, Concepción Marañon, Jacques Olivier Pers

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The innovative medicine initiative project called PRECISESADS will study 2.500 individuals affected by systemic autoimmune diseases (SADs) and controls. Among extensive OMICS approaches, multi-parameter flow cytometry analyses will be performed in eleven different centers. Therefore, the integration of all data in common bioinformatical and biostatistical investigations requires a fine mirroring of all instruments. We describe here the procedure elaborated to achieve this prerequisite. One flow cytometer chosen as reference instrument fixed the mean fluorescence intensities (MFIs) of 8 different fluorochrome-conjugated antibodies (Abs) using VersaComp Ab capture beads. The ten other centers adjusted their own PMT voltages to reach the same MFIs. Subsequently, all centers acquired Rainbow 8-peak beads data on a daily basis to follow the stability of their instrument overtime. One blood sample has been dispatched and concomitantly stained in all centers. Comparison of leukocytes frequencies and cell surface marker MFIs demonstrated the close sensitivity of all flow cytometers, allowing a multicenter analysis. The effective multi-center harmonization enables the constitution of a workable wide flow cytometry database for the identification of specific molecular signatures in individuals with SADs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1038-1045
Number of pages8
JournalAutoimmunity Reviews
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Multi-center harmonization
  • Multi-parametric flow cytometry
  • Standard operating procedure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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