Cytokine profiling is a powerful tool to link the host immune system with disease pathogenesis and/or treatment efficacy. The analysis of cytokine expression is frequently required for the characterisation of the status of the immune system, to demonstrate the functionality of the cells of interest and as an analysis of surrogate markers for in vitro potency testing.
Classically, cytokine expression analysis is performed by ELISA for each separate analyte. Multiplex assays allow the simultaneous measurement of multiple cytokines in a sample, increasing the efficiency (less time-consuming and less expensive) and considerably reducing the sample volumes needed.
Three multiplex technologies for the measurement of cytokines were compared: electrochemiluminescence, Luminex and Cytometric Bead Array.
The performance of the three assays was evaluated in terms of their accuracy, repeatability, intermediate precision, quantification range and ability to detect cytokines in human samples.