A cell-based systems biology assessment of human blood to monitor immune responses after influenza vaccination

Kristen L. Hoek, Parimal Samir, Leigh M. Howard, Xinnan Niu, Nripesh Prasad, Allison Galassie, Qi Liu, Tara M. Allos, Kyle A. Floyd, Yan Guo, Yu Shyr, Shawn E. Levy, Sebastian Joyce, Kathryn M. Edwards, Andrew J. Link

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60 Scopus citations


Systems biology is an approach to comprehensively study complex interactions within a biological system. Most published systems vaccinology studies have utilized whole blood or peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) to monitor the immune response after vaccination. Because human blood is comprised of multiple hematopoietic cell types, the potential for masking responses of under-represented cell populations is increased when analyzing whole blood or PBMC. To investigate the contribution of individual cell types to the immune response after vaccination, we established a rapid and efficient method to purify human T and B cells, natural killer (NK) cells, myeloid dendritic cells (mDC), monocytes, and neutrophils from fresh venous blood. Purified cells were fractionated and processed in a single day. RNA-Seq and quantitative shotgun proteomics were performed to determine expression profiles for each cell type prior to and after inactivated seasonal influenza vaccination. Our results show that transcriptomic and proteomic profiles generated from purified immune cells differ significantly from PBMC. Differential expression analysis for each immune cell type also shows unique transcriptomic and proteomic expression profiles as well as changing biological networks at early time points after vaccination. This cell type-specific information provides a more comprehensive approach to monitor vaccine responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0118528
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 23 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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