Isotype control reference

Mark Simmerson Mark.Simmerson at
Fri Jun 1 07:17:06 EDT 2007

Hi Rosemary
This topic comes up frequently on this site.
Have a look at;
'Isotype controls - time to let go?' O'Gorman and Thomas, Cytometry,
38:78-80 (1999) and 'Isotype controls in the analysis of lymphocytes and
CD34+ stem and progenitor cells by flow cytometry - time to let go!'
Keeney, Gratama, Chin-Yee and Sutherland, Cytometry 34:280-283 (1998).
Do a search of past postings on this and other flow sites.
Mark Simmerson
Flow Cytometry Lead BMS
Dept Haem
Sheffield Children's Hospital

>>> Rosemary Clarke <r.z.clarke at> 05/29/07 4:46 pm >>>
Hello everyone in flow land,

A PhD student in the lab has recently had her viva and was asked why  
she didn't use isotype controls in her flow cytometry. There are  
technical reasons specific to the assays that made these unnecessary  
and irrelevant that we can easily explain. However, I was wondering  
if anyone out there has a reference that we can cite that explains  
the pitfalls of relying on isotype controls? I always feel it gives  
more weight to an argument if you can prove you are not the only one  
with a way of doing things!

Thanks in advance

Dr Rosie Clarke
Division of Cell Biology and Immunology
University of Dundee
Tel: (01382) 385780
E-mail: r.z.clarke at 

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