• PNH;
  • flow cytometry;
  • immunophenotype;
  • CD55;
  • CD59



Flow cytometry-based immunophenotypic techniques for the analysis of CD55 and CD59 expression on the major cell populations present in blood are the preferred method for the diagnostic screening of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH). Methods: In the present study, we comparatively analyze the effects of stain-lyse-and-then-wash techniques and lyse-wash-and-then-stain procedures on the detection of both CD55 and CD59 expression on the major peripheral blood (PB) leucocyte subsets, as analyzed by flow cytometry. Our major goal was to establish the minimum amounts of anti-CD55 and anti-CD59 reagents required to be added to a minimum volume of blood, which would allow an optimal staining for both antigens on red cells, platelets, and leucocytes present in a single tube. Results: Our results show that upon comparing stain-lyse-and-then-wash techniques with lyse-wash-and-then-stain protocols, the presence of important amounts of red cells at the time peripheral blood leucocytes are stained for CD55 and CD59 is associated with a significantly (P < 0.01) lower and more heterogeneous pattern of antigen expression on almost all major PB leucocyte subsets, supporting the need to use red cell lysing procedures prior to the staining of leucocytes. Identical, optimal patterns of antigen staining for CD55 and CD59 were obtained upon incubating 3 μL of blood with 10 μL of each of these monoclonal antibody (mAb) reagents (protein concentration of 0.05 μg/μL and 0.2 μg/μL respectively) for 30 min (room temperature [RT]) using a non-lyse-non-wash sample preparation procedure. This latter procedure allowed for the simultaneous analysis of CD55 and CD59 expression on red cells, platelets, neutrophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes present in the sample through the combined staining of CD55 and CD59 with CD64-fluorescein isothiocyante (FITC) plus CD61-peridinin chlorophyll protein (PerCP) and CD45-PerCP. Conclusions: In summary, our results show that the sample preparation protocol has a significant impact on the quality of the staining obtained for the CD55 and CD59 antigens on the major PB leucocyte subsets; additionally, we propose a simple and reliable stain-non-lyse-non-wash method for the simultaneous analysis of CD55 and CD59 expression on PB red cells, platelets, neutrophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes, which could be reached through the use of two triple stainings. Cytometry (Clin. Cytometry) 50:191–201, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.