What Is Thymidine Incorporation Value?

Thymidine incorporation value is a test used as an indicator of immunogenicityIn this test, “stimulator” lymphocytes from a potential donor are first killed by irradiation and then mixed with live “responder” lymphocytes from the recipient; the mixture is incubated in cell culture to permit DNA synthesis, which is measured by incorporation of tritiated thymidine. The greater the amount of DNA synthesis in the responder cells, the more foreign are the class II MHC proteins of the donor cells. A large amount of DNA synthesis indicates an unsatisfactory “match”; i.e., donor and recipient class II (HLA-D) MHC proteins are not similar, and the graft is likely to be rejected. The best donor is, therefore, the person whose cells stimulated the incorporation of the least amount of tritiated thymidine in the recipient cells.

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