UNIT 7.4 Immunomagnetic Purification of T Cell Subpopulations

  1. Kevin Horgan,
  2. Stephen Shaw

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142735.im0704s15

Current Protocols in Immunology

Current Protocols in Immunology

How to Cite

Horgan, K. and Shaw, S. 2001. Immunomagnetic Purification of T Cell Subpopulations. Current Protocols in Immunology. 15:I:7.4:7.4.1–7.4.6.

Author Information

  1. National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: SEP 1995

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (1 APR 2009)


This unit describes a general method for physical separation of cell subpopulations from a heterogeneous mixture of cell types. The technique relies on having an appropriate monoclonal antibody or mix of monoclonal antibodies that distinguish between the cell types being separated. Its advantages over other antibody-mediated selection techniques are purity of resulting cell preparation, reproducibility of separation, and ease of handling small to large numbers of cells (106 to 1010 cells). The basic protocol outlines preparation of purified human T lymphocytes. The method produces good yields of pure T cells prepared by negative selection (i.e., not labeled with antibody). The alternate protocol applies similar principles for purifying CD4+ T cells, and presents refinements of the basic protocol that minimize cost and improve convenience.