The immune profiling armamentarium. The number of high-throughput molecular and cellular profiling tools that can be used to profile the human immune system is increasing rapidly. Proteomic assays are used to determine antibody specificity or measure changes in serum levels of cytokines or chemokines using multiplex assays. Cellular profiling assays are used to phenotype immune cells based on intracellular or extracellular markers using polychromatic flow cytometry. In vitro cellular assays can measure innate or antigen-specific responsiveness in cells exposed to immunogenic factors. Genomic approaches consist of measuring abundance of cellular RNA and also microRNAs that are present in cells or in the serum. Other genomic approaches consist of determining gene sequence and function (for example, genome-wide association studies, RNA interference screens, exome sequencing).
Chaussabel et al. BMC Biology 2010 8:84 doi:10.1186/1741-7007-8-84