Human MLRs

Human MLRs


In the field of immuno-oncology, mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) assays are commonly used to understand activity of immunomodulators, to determine the effects of antibodies or compounds on the ability of T cells to be activated and proliferate and indicate potential ability to mount this type of response in the tumour microenvironment (TME).

Three distinct MLR protocols can be adopted. An autologous MLR, where monocyte-derived dendritic cells (Mo-DC) are combined with CD4+ T cells from the same donor, with anti CD3/CD28 as the stimulator. Alternatively, allogenic MLRs can be established with Mo-DC (either immature or matured, under varying conditions) where the mismatch at the MHC-II by using different donors for the Mo-DC and T cell populations, triggers stimulation. The selection of MLR protocol, largely depends on the target of interest and hypothesised mechanism of action.

IL-6 is a key mediator in immuno-oncology and the TME. Therefore, it is suggested that using a Mo-DC maturation protocol with this cytokine (including TNF-α, IL-1 and PGE2) is particularly relevant for assessing potential modulators under artificial in vitro TME immune conditions.

Assay readouts include:

  • Proliferation by CFSE, Ki-67 (Flow Cytometry)
  • Cytokine expression e.g. IFN-γ and others (ELISA)
  • Activation markers e.g. CD80, CD83, CD86 (Flow Cytometry)

Contact us to discuss your MLR study requirements.


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Aquila BioMedical Ltd.
Nine, Edinburgh BioQuarter
9, Little France Road
EH16 4UX

Tel: +44 (0) 131 658 5164