How to Interpret Results of a Mixed Lymphocyte Reaction

Mixed Lymphocyte Reactions are difficult to design and difficult to set up. It follows then, that they are also difficult to interpret. The aspect that compounds this issue is that MLR’s are almost always custom designed, and rarely set up in a “standard” format. Therefore, the interpretation is determined by the experimental set-up in light of the cells used and all relevant controls.

 In general, one-way Mixed Lymphocyte Reactions use a stimulator cell that has been rendered non-proliferative. Therefore the proliferative response will be reflective of the responder cell. This is observed as a stimulation index = 1.0. Suppression of the proliferative response results in a stimulation index < 1.0.

  The stimulation index is calculated by dividing the test (contains non-proliferating stimulator cells and responder cells) by the non-stimulated responder cell response. It is important to run both negative and positive controls in each assay. The negative control tests for inadvertent stimulation while the positive control assures that the responder cells are viable and capable of mounting a proliferative response.

 Here at Xeno, we have consultants on our team with extensive experience with these assays. If you have a device or process and are working towards an FDA submission, we can serve as your contract laboratory and take this entire process off your shoulders. We can provide consulting services if you prefer to keep your lab work in-house.