Objective. To describe a standardized flow cytometry protocol for the relative and absolute quantification of hematopoietic cell subpopulations from normal bone marrow, and to evaluate the expression of different lineage-specific cell markers with a reactivity associated to cell differentiation to be used as part of the routine quality control in cytometry laboratories. Materials and methods. The immunophenotypical analysis of different cell subpopulations was done with samples from normal bone marrow using a panel of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies useful in the characterization of acute leukemias with four different fluorescences, by means of a protocol that combines cell labeling of membrane and cytoplasm antigens. Expression analysis was done in terms of mean fluorescence intensity (MFI). Fluorescent beads at a known concentration were added for calculating the absolute count of cells. Results. The antibody panel used allowed the identification and quantification of different normal leukocyte subpopulations of lymphatic and myeloid origin, including CD34+ stem cells and more differentiated cell populations in the granulocytic, monocytic, and erythroid cell lines. We established reference values for cell populations and cell marker expression ranges as part of routine quality control of cytometry laboratories. Conclusion. Immunophenotypic patterns identified as well as absolute and relative reference values for the different normal leukocyte populations from bone marrow can be used by cytometry laboratories as a basis for establishing reference parameters in phenotypic analyses of hematologic neoplasia.
Key words: multiparametric flow cytometry, immunophenotype, hematologic neoplasia, normal bone marrow, reference values, quality control.