Phenotypical T Cell Differentiation Analysis: A Diagnostic and Predictive Tool in the Study of Primary Immunodeficiencies

Enrico Attardi, Silvia Di Cesare, Donato Amodio, Carmela Giancotta, Nicola Cotugno, Cristina Cifaldi, Maria Chiriaco, Paolo Palma, Andrea Finocchi, Gigliola Di Matteo, Paolo Rossi, Caterina Cancrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiparametric flow cytometry (MFC) represents a rapid, highly reproducible, and sensitive diagnostic technology for primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs), which are characterized by a wide range of T cell perturbations and a broad clinical and genetic heterogeneity. MFC data from CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets were examined in 100 patients referred for Primary Immunodeficiencies to our center. Naïve, central memory, effector memory, and terminal effector memory cell differentiation stages were defined by the combined expression CD45RA/CD27 for CD4 and CD45RA/CCR7 for CD8. Principal component analysis (PCA), a non-hypothesis driven statistical analysis, was applied to analyze MFC data in order to distinguish the diverse PIDs. Among severe lymphopenic patients, those affected by severe combined and combined immunodeficiency (SCID and CID) segregated in a specific area, reflecting a homogenous, and a more severe T cell impairment, compared to other lymphopenic PID, such as thymectomized and partial DiGeorge syndrome patients. PID patients with predominantly antibody defects were distributed in a heterogeneous pattern, but unexpectedly PCA was able to cluster some patients' resembling CID, hence warning for additional and more extensive diagnostic tests and a diverse clinical management. In conclusion, PCA applied to T cell MFC data might help the physician to estimate the severity of specific PID and to diversify the clinical and diagnostic approach of the patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2735
JournalFrontiers in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - Nov 29 2019


  • diagnostic markers
  • flow cytometric immunophenotyping
  • multivariate data analysis
  • primary immunodeficiencies
  • T cell subsets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Phenotypical T Cell Differentiation Analysis: A Diagnostic and Predictive Tool in the Study of Primary Immunodeficiencies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this