Test Catalog

Test ID: NMOFC    
Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO)/Aquaporin-4-IgG Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting (FACS) Assay, Spinal Fluid

Method Description Describes how the test is performed and provides a method-specific reference

NMO-IgG Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting Assay (FACS)


Human embryonic kidney cells (HEK 293) are transfected transiently with a plasmid (pIRES2-Aequorea coerulescens green fluorescent protein [AcGFP]) encoding both green fluorescent protein (GFP) and AQP4-M1. After 36 hours, the mixed population of cells (transfected expressing AQP4 on the surface and GFP in the cytoplasm and nontransfected lacking AQP4 and GFP) are harvested with short exposure to trypsin. Patient cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is then added to cells at a 1 in 2 screening dilution. After incubation and washing, the cells are resuspended with AlexaFluor 647-conjugated goat antihuman IgG-gamma specific secondary antibody (Southern Biotech catalog No. 2040-31, 1:2000 in LCBB), held on ice, washed, fixed with 4% paraformaldehyde, and examined with flow cytometry (BD FACSCanto; Becton, Dickinson and Co). Two populations are gated on the basis of GFP expression: positive (high AQP4 expression) and negative (low or no AQP4 expression). The median Alexafluor 647 fluorescence intensity (MFI) for the AcGFP-positive population indicates relative abundance of human IgG potentially bound to AQP4 surface epitopes; MFI for the GFP-negative population indicated nonspecifically-bound IgG. The IgG binding index was calculated as the ratio of the average MFI for duplicate aliquots of each cell population: (MFI GFP positive/MFI GFP negative). We established conservative cutoff IgG binding index values of 2.00 for M1-FACS.


If FACS assay is positive at screening dilution, FACS Titer Assay is performed at an additional charge. The patient CSF is titrated to endpoint. The dilution where the IgG-binding index is greater than or equal to 2, is considered the endpoint dilution. If a patient is positive at a 1:2 dilution, but negative at 1:4, the endpoint will be reported as 2.

PDF Report Indicates whether the report includes an additional document with charts, images or other enriched information


Day(s) Performed Outlines the days the test is performed. This field reflects the day that the sample must be in the testing laboratory to begin the testing process and includes any specimen preparation and processing time before the test is performed. Some tests are listed as continuously performed, which means that assays are performed multiple times during the day.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

Report Available The interval of time (receipt of sample at Mayo Clinic Laboratories to results available) taking into account standard setup days and weekends. The first day is the time that it typically takes for a result to be available. The last day is the time it might take, accounting for any necessary repeated testing.

5 to 8 days

Specimen Retention Time Outlines the length of time after testing that a specimen is kept in the laboratory before it is discarded

28 days

Performing Laboratory Location Indicates the location of the laboratory that performs the test