Summary and replies on PCH101

clare Rogers rogdog at
Fri Sep 7 17:04:21 EDT 2007

Thanks, Teona, for compiling this & putting it out there. If I get more info from others
or do comparisons with other FoxP3 clones I will let the List know - as I hope other
responders will, too.

It would great to have a "sub-list" of those of us with a particular interest in this
area so we could share info & experience.

Would others be interested in being part of a "human TReg & Flow Cytometry" group so we
can keep up more easily?

If so, any ideas on how to form the list?

Clare Rogers
University of Michigan

>>> Teona Roschupkina <Teona.Roschupkina at> 9/6/2007 2:16 PM >>>
Dear all, 

Thank you for all the replies. I have read them all and am very gratefull. I
have brought this paper up because the implications of results are important
for my work.

Personally, I have few comments. 

I have often observed exactly same phenomenon with CD4 pos being higher in
FoxP3 "background" as Clare (See Reply 4) and really did not know how to
interpret the data. It was different from patient to patient and to donor,
even within same run (stained, run same day). I usually include all single
controls and adjust compensation for particular sample if necessary. If this
is really a background then FMOs should resolve it.

In past, I have been doing a lot of leukemia stainings. We stained for CD45
PECy5/CD19 PE and kappa-Fitc and lambda Fitc. There was interesting
connection there higher CD45 was MFI on pat cells more positivity I was
getting for kappa and lambda, because only CD19 positive population would
shift up and give positivity of kappa or lambda. As in this case it was not
a compensation problem. It seemed that PE-Cy5 intensified the other
channels. So compared to isotype it appeared positive. And because we did
not do FMOs at the time we could not figure out the reason.

In this case however, I have to agree with Cindy (Reply 3) it really can be
a compensation issue.

Like in some replies below, we will be doing some experiments validating the
antibody ourselves. I will try to keep you informed.

Best regards,


P.S. If I have not posted your reply it means I have not received it or it
got lost in the process. Please, if you would resend it I will be happy to
add it to the letter.

Reply author:

Dear Teia,

Thank you for your questioning. I have forgotten to state that the FOXP3 in
Fig3B was stained with 259D clone. Hopefully Blood will make that correction
prior to printing. Please let me know if you have any further questions.


Dat Q. Tran, M.D.
Laboratory of Immunology
10 Center Drive
Blg. 10, Room 11N256 MSC 1892
Bethesda, MD 20892
phone: 301-496-3863
fax: 301-496-0222 
email: dtran at 

Reply 1:

Hi Teia,

I think they used they 259D antibody in Fig.3b because they do get a
Foxp3/negative/ population in the "CD45RA+ d5 +TGF-beta" cells. Regarding
the PCR experiment: Their point seems to be that the Tcells with Foxp3
induced by activation in presence of TGF-beta have less Foxp3mRNA than the
activated Treg and that this correlates with the lower percentage of
positive foxp3 staining with 259D as shown in 3b (where NOT all cells are
Foxp3+ in contrast to staining with PCH101). To me that alone would not be
enough proof that the PCH101 is unspecific as correlation between mRNA and %
positive cells is not necessarily good. But together with the other data it
is quite convincing.

They mention that 2 populations were found with the PCH101. Couldn't that be
positive and negative, with the negative just having a higher background
than the isotype control? The did not really discuss that. They also did not
discuss how the percentages of these 2 populations compare to the positive
and negative population they get with the 259D. I have ordered the 259D and
am going to compare my PCH101 results to that. I'll let you know how that

Great you brought this paper up for discussion. Please let me know your
thoughts and other replies you get as this is a quite important issue to my



Reply 2:

We have compared PCH101 with 259D and found no significant difference.
However, we use the APC conjugate of PCH101, not the PE form used in the
Shevak paper. Perhaps that accounts for some of the difference.  Also, we
work with G-CSF mobilized peripheral blood.  The FoxP3 story and that of
Tregs in general are still unfolding so many of the findings  being made
will be challenged going forward.  Certainly, the story is going to get more
interesting. My recommendation is to validate the antibodies yourself to
your application.  Relying in the literature or what the lab down the hall
is doing can be costly; I've been misled in the past and learned the hard
way the importance of confirming such details for myself.

Kevin Sheehan 

Reply 3:

Dear Teia-

A friend who is on the mailing list forwarded me your email.  I also use
PCH101 and have read the Tran et al paper.  Here is my take on Fig 3:

3A:  First, I think there is a typo and the 'anti-TGFbeta' should say 'No
TGFbeta'; at least according to the text and the legend.  Second, I think
the compensation for the stains with PCH101 looks improper.  This is
clearest on the isotype control plot.  Third, to really compare two
different Abs, they should have used Abs conjugated to the same flurochrome.
Oddly, the compensation for the 259D Ab looks good.  All this being said, I
have seen some interesting things using PCH101 vs 206D (which Tran says gave
similar results to 259D).  Conjugated to Alexa 488, I see a greater % of
FoxP3+ events  in the CD25+ or CD25 Hi gate with PCH101 than 206D.  So,
there may still be a specificity issue with PCH101, but I think the
cytometry presented in Fig 3A is not done with the best technique.

3B:  I believe the staining is with PCH101.  I was wondering why the 3rd and
4th plots look so different than their counterparts in 3A.  I understand
their graph labels to indicate that the 3rd plot should be the same as the
'anti-TGFbeta' PCH101 plot and the 4th plot should be the same as the '+
TGFbeta' PCH101 plot.  Do you have any thoughts on this?


Cindy Zuleger

UW Madison

Reply 4:

Hi Teona - The shift of almost all CD4+ cells above background	in Fig. 3A
is something I have seen with clone PCH101 as well (I usually use the APC
conjugate & I am staining samples of human peripheral blood, an average of
10 different patients/normals a week).	Looking at the pictures I wonder if
the brightest FOXP3+ group in the TGFB+ treated cells are the "truly" FOXP3+
cells and if the percentage there would also be around 60%, as seen w/ the
other clone.

The shift I see is never quite that dramatic (I may get a half-log shift),
and does not appear to be a titration issue, and generally the entire CD4
positive group shifts (highly suspicious in normals!). I have gotten certain
lot numbers which seem to have more background than others. Since I do a lot
of normal  peripheral blood samples I am able to get a good sense about this
shift being an artifact, or non-specific (call it what you will) - as no
"normal" would have 30% of CD4+ cells being FoxP3+. And, more importantly,
there is always a FOXP3 "bright" population out beyond the shift, which when
gated upon has the expected phenotype in terms of CD25, CD62L, CD45RO/RA.

I am finding that if I use a 1/400 dilution of unlabelled msIgG in the Perm
Buffer, & incubate my cells for at least 30 mins on ice in that as blocker
before adding the FOXP3 AB (I add it directly to the well), I am getting
much less shift relative to my isotype control. Also, after the incubation
in FOXP3 is finished, I pellet the cells, aspirate sup, add the Perm Buffer
again & let the cells it on ice for at least 10 mins before I re-pellet, and
continue on. Maybe that helps, too.

I have mentioned this shift to our sales rep from eBiosciences, and his
response has been that it doesn't make sense as they test it ll out w/ their
reagents etc, and that maybe I'm not using the reagents properly, etc, etc,
blah, blah, blah.

Our lab has been in contact with another well known TReg researcher (not Dr.
Shevach) who has also noted this phenom. and is testing other clones.

I will be glad to ship back all of our PCH101 stock if the consensus is that
it is unreliable. 

Clare Rogers

University of Michigan

Department of Pediatrics

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