T and b cell receptor immune repertoire analysis using next-generation sequencing

Lael Werner*, Chen Dor, Naomi Salamon, Meital Nagar, Dror S. Shouval

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Immunological memory, the hallmark of adaptive immunity, is orchestrated by T and B lymphocytes. In circulation and different organs, there are billions of unique T and B cell clones, and each one can bind a specific antigen, leading to proliferation, differentiation and/or cytokine secretion. The vast heterogeneity in T and B cells is generated by random recombination of different genetic segments. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, developed in the last decade, enable an unprecedented in-depth view of the T and B cell receptor immune repertoire. Studies in various inflammatory conditions, immunodeficiencies, infections and malignancies demonstrated marked changes in clonality, gene usage, and biophysical properties of immune repertoire, providing important insights about the role of adaptive immune responses in different disorders. Here, we provide a detailed protocol for NGS of immune repertoire of T and B cells from blood and tissue. We present a pipeline starting from DNA isolation through library preparation, sequencing on NGS sequencer and ending with basic analyses. This method enables exploration of specific T and B cells at the nucleotide or amino-acid level, and thus can identify dynamic changes in lymphocyte populations and diversity parameters in different diseases. This technique is slowly entering clinical practice and has the potential for identification of novel biomarkers, risk stratification and precision medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere61792
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number167
StatePublished - Jan 2021


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