Multiparametric Whole Blood Dissection: A one-shot comprehensive picture of the human hematopoietic system

L Basso-Ricci, S Scala, Raffaella Milani, M Migliavacca, Attilio Rovelli, ME Bernardo, F Ciceri, A Aiuti, L Biasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human hematopoiesis is a complex and dynamic system where morphologically and functionally diverse mature cell types are generated and maintained throughout life by bone marrow (BM) Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cells (HSPC). Congenital and acquired hematopoietic disorders are often diagnosed through the detection of aberrant frequency or composition of hematopoietic cell populations. We here describe a novel protocol, called "Whole Blood Dissection" (WBD), capable of analyzing in a single test-tube, hematopoietic progenitors and all major mature cell lineages composing either BM or peripheral blood (PB) through a multiparametric flow-cytometry analysis. WBD allows unambiguously identifying in the same tube up to 23 different blood cell types including HSPC subtypes and all the major myeloid and lymphoid lineage compartments at different stages of maturation, through a combination of 17 surface and 1 viability cell markers. We assessed the efficacy of WBD by analyzing BM and PB samples from adult (n=8) and pediatric (n=9) healthy donors highlighting age-related shift in cell composition. We also tested the capability of WBD on detecting aberrant hematopoietic cell composition in clinical samples of patients with primary immunodeficiency or leukemia unveiling expected and novel hematopoietic unbalances. Overall, WBD allows unambiguously identifying > 99% of the cell subpopulations composing a blood sample in a reproducible, standardized, cost-, and time-efficient manner. This tool has a wide range of potential pre-clinical and clinical applications going from the characterization of hematopoietic disorders to the monitoring of hematopoietic reconstitution in patients after transplant or gene therapy. © 2017 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)952-965
Number of pages14
JournalCytometry Part A
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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