Long term time-course monitoring of NK cell-mediated ADCC using the Celigo Image Cytometer Lucas Ferrari De Andrade1, Charles A. Thomas1, Deng Pan1, Dmitry Kuksin2, Kai Wucherpfennig1 and Leo Li-Ying Chan2 1Department of Cancer Immunology and Virology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02215; 2Department of Technology R&D, Nexcelom Bioscience LLC., Lawrence, MA 01843
Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) assay has been widely performed for immuno-oncological research. Traditionally, ADCC assays are conducted by measuring the amount of released Chromium, calcein AM, or Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) molecules after the target cancer cells are killed by effector/antibody pair. These methods can be inaccurate due to indirect measurement of supernatant at the end point of 4 hour, however, there is a need to characterize the effects of antibody-dependent cytotoxicity for longer than 72 hours. Previously, we have demonstrated an image-based ADCC detection method using the Celigo Image Cytometer, where the target cells are stained with calcein AM and other tracer dyes to monitor cell count or viability. However, the fluorescence of these dyes can significantly diminish within a 48 hour time frame. In this work, we demonstrated the time-course monitoring of NK cell-mediated ADCC of A375 cells in the presence or absence of IL2 and antibodies for 76 hours. First, A375-ZsGreen cells were seeded into a 96-well plate with and without target antibodies. Next, NK cells with and without IL2 were added to the wells at 10:1, 5:1, 2:1, and 1:1 E:T ratios. The co-culture was allowed to incubate for 76 hours and the image cytometer was used to scan and analyze at times 0, 3, 4, 6, 24, 27, 30, 51, 74, and 76 hours. The software was able to count individual cells as well as confluence % at each time point by segmenting highly fluorescent objects in the images. We were able to show time-dependent ADCC killing with decrease in ZsGreen positive cells as the read-out. In addition, the uniformity of cell killing can be observed in the Celigo obtained whole well images. One of the most important findings was that there was regrowth of target cells after the initial 30 hours of cell killing, indicating the activated NK cells without antibodies did not eradicate the cancer cells. Therefore, the ability to perform long term time-course monitoring of ADCC is highly important to better characterize the effects of target antibodies on cell killing function.