Amyloid beta (Aβ) oligomers and phosphorylated tau (p-tau) aggregates are increasingly identified as potential toxic intermediates in Alzheimer's disease (AD). In cortical AD synapses, p-tau co-localizes with Aβ, but the Aβ and p-tau peptide species responsible for synaptic dysfunction and demise remains unclear. The present experiments were designed to use high-speed cell sorting techniques to purify synaptosome population based on size, and then extend the method to physically isolate Aβ-positive synaptosomes with the goal of understanding the nature of Aβ and tau pathology in AD synapses. To examine the purity of size-gated synaptosomes, samples were first gated on size; particles with sizes between 0.5 and 1.5 microns were collected. Electron microscopy documented a homogenous population of spherical particles with internal vesicles and synaptic densities. Next, size-gated synaptosomes positive for Aβ were collected by fluorescence activated sorting and then analyzed by immunoblotting techniques. Sorted Aβ-positive synaptosomes were enriched for APP and for Aβ oligomers and aggregates; immunolabeling for p-tau showed a striking accumulation of p-tau aggregates compared to the original homogenate and purified synaptosomes. These results confirm co-localization of Aβ and p-tau within individual synaptic terminals and provide proof of concept for the utility of flow sorting synaptosomes.
synaptosome; flow cytometry; Alzheimer's disease; amyloid beta; p-tau
Extracellular hydrodynamic forces may be transmitted to the interior of cells through the alteration of integrin conformation and affinity. Integrin activation regulates leukocyte recruitment, cell activation, and transmigration. The cellular and molecular mechanisms for integrin activation are not precisely known, although intracellular calcium signaling is involved. Flow cytometry offers a versatile way to study intracellular calcium signaling in real-time. We report a novel method to generate defined shear by using a miniature Couette. Testing involved measuring shear induced intracellular calcium signals of human monoblastoid U937 cells in suspension. The Couette was connected externally to a flow cytometer and pressurized at 6 PSI (4.1 N/m2). Cells were subjected to well-defined shear between 0 and 1000 s−1 and delivered continuously within 10 s to a FACScan at 1 μl/s. Intracellular calcium levels and the percentage of cells activated increased as shear increased in duration and intensity.
Investigations of rare cell types in peripheral blood samples, such as tumor, fetal and endothelial cells, represent an emerging field with several potentially valuable medical applications. Peripheral blood is a particularly attractive body fluid for the detection of rare cells as its collection is minimally invasive and can be repeated throughout the course of the disease. Because the number of rare cells in mononuclear cells can be very low (1 in 10 million), a large number of cells must be quickly screened, which places demanding requirements on the screening technology. While enrichment technology has shown promise in managing metastatic disease, enrichment can cause distortions of cell morphology that limit pathological identification, and the enrichment targeting adds additional constraints that can affect sensitivity. Here we describe a new approach for detecting rare leukemia cells that does not require prior enrichment.
We have developed an immunocytochemical assay for identification of leukemia cells spiked in peripheral blood samples, and a high-speed scanning instrument with high numerical aperture and wide field of view to efficiently locate these cells in large sample sizes. A multiplex immunoassay with four biomarkers was used to uniquely identify the rare cells from leukocytes and labeling artifacts.
The cytometer preserves the cell morphology and accurately locates labeled rare cells for subsequent high resolution imaging. The sensitivity and specificity of the approach show promise for detection of a low number of leukemia cells in blood (1 in 10 million nucleated cells).
The method enables rapid location of rare circulating cells (25M cells/min), no specific enrichment step, and excellent imaging of cellular morphology with multiple immunofluorescent markers. The cell imaging is comparable to other imaging approaches such as laser scan cytometry and image flow cytometry, but the cell analysis rate is many orders of magnitude faster making this approach practical for detection of rare cells.
Rare cell; minimal residual disease; acute lymphoblastic leukemia; image cytometry
Observations of intracellular O-linked β-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) protein modification are primarily performed by Western blot or immunofluorescence microscopy. The goal of this study was to develop a flow cytometric-based assay for O-GlcNAc signaling and thus provide a more quantitative and rapid method to facilitate clinical analyses. Isolated peripheral blood neutrophils were stimulated with fMLF after adherence to glass cover slips. Cells in suspension were treated with either fMLF or PMA. Unstimulated cells served as controls. Neutrophils were fixed with formaldehyde and permeabilized with cold methanol before intracellular O-GlcNAc staining. Cells on cover slips were analyzed by fluorescence microscopy, and suspension cell data were acquired by flow cytometry. O-GlcNAc protein modification was increased following neutrophil stimulation with either 100 nM fMLF or 10 nM PMA. Increases were detected following either treatment using both flow cytometry and fluorescence microscopy. The time necessary for the completion of staining, data acquisition, and analysis was considerably less using flow cytometry. In addition, flow cytometry allows for the analysis of a substantially greater number of cells. Neutrophil protein modifications by O-GlcNAc are rapidly detected using flow cytometry and provide information similar to that observed using fluorescence microscopy.
neutrophil; O-GlcNAc; fMLF; PMA; intracellular protein; flow cytometry; immunofluorescence microscopy
The neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor tyrosine kinase TrkB serve important regulatory roles for multiple aspects of the biology of neurons including cell death, survival, growth, differentiation, and plasticity. Regulation of the local availability of BDNF/TrkB at distinct subcellular domains such as soma, dendrites, axons, growth cones, nerve terminals, and spines appears to contribute to their specific functions. In view of the variance in size and shape of neurons and their compartments, previous quantitative studies of the BDNF/TrkB protein and mRNA lacked a robust normalization procedure. To overcome this problem, we have established methods that use immunofluorescence detection of α-tubulin as a normalization factor for the quantitative analysis of protein and mRNA in primary rat cortical and striatal neurons in culture. The efficacy of this approach is demonstrated by studying the dynamic distribution of proteins and mRNA at different growth stages or conditions. Treatment of cultured neurons with KCl resulted in increased levels of TrkB protein, reduced levels of BDNF mRNA (composite of multiple transcripts) and a slight reduction in BDNF protein levels in the dendrites from the cortex. The KCl treatment also lowered the percentage of BDNF and TrkB proteins in the soma indicative of protein transport. Finally, analysis of the rat cortical and striatal neurons demonstrated comparable or even higher levels of BDNF/TrkB protein and BDNF mRNA in the neurons from the striatum. Thus, in contrast to previous observations made in vivo, striatal neurons are capable of synthesizing BDNF mRNA when cultured in growth media in vitro. The analytical approach presented here provides a detailed understanding of BDNF/TrkB levels in response to a variety of neuronal activities. Our methods could be used broadly, including applications in cell and tissue cytometry, to yield accurate quantitative data of gene expression in cellular and subcellular contexts.
immunofluorescence; fluorescence in situ hybridization; brain-derived neurotrophic factor; BDNF; TrkB; α-tubulin; cortical neuron; striatal neuron
The hematopoietic and vascular lineages are intimately entwined as they arise together from bipotent hemangioblasts and hemogenic endothelial precursors during human embryonic development. In vitro differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells toward these lineages provides opportunities for elucidating the mechanisms of hematopoietic genesis. We previously demonstrated the stepwise in vitro differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) to definitive erythromyelopoiesis through clonogenic bipotent primitive hemangioblasts. This system recapitulates an orderly hematopoiesis similar to human yolk sac development via the generation of mesodermal-hematoendothelial progenitor cells that give rise to endothelium followed by embryonic primitive and definitive hematopoietic cells. Here, we report that under modified feeder-free endothelial culture conditions, multipotent CD34+CD45+ hematopoietic progenitors arise in mass quantities from differentiated hESC and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC). These hematopoietic progenitors arose directly from adherent endothelial/stromal cell layers in a manner resembling in vivo hematopoiesis from embryonic hemogenic endothelium. Although fibroblast-derived hiPSC lines were previously found inefficient in hemato-endothelial differentiation capacity, our culture system also supported robust hiPSC hemato-vascular differentiation at levels comparable to hESC. We present comparative differentiation results for simultaneously generating hematopoietic and vascular progenitors from both hESC and fibroblast-hiPSC. This defined, optimized, and low-density differentiation system will be ideal for direct single-cell time course studies of the earliest hematopoietic events using time-lapse videography, or bulk kinetics using flow cytometry analyses on emerging hematopoietic progenitors.
human embryonic stem cells (hESC); induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC); hematopoietic stem-progenitor cells; vascular progenitor cells; hemogenic endothelium; hemovascular differentiation; flow cytometry
DNA topoisomerase I (Top1) and topoisomerase II (Top2) inhibitors are widely used to treat a variety of cancers. Their mechanism of action involves stabilization of otherwise transient (“cleavable”) complexes between Top1 or Top2 and DNA; collisions of DNA replication forks with such stabilized complexes lead to formation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). In this study, using 5-ethynyl-2′deoxyuridine (EdU) as a DNA precursor, we directly assessed the relationship between DNA replication and induction of DSBs revealed as γH2AX foci in A549 cells treated with Top1 inhibitors topotecan (Tpt) or camptothecin (Cpt) and Top2 inhibitors mitoxantrone (Mxt) and etoposide (Etp). Analysis of cells by multiparameter laser scanning cytometry following treatment with Tpt or Cpt revealed that only DNA replicating cells showed induction of γH2AX and a strong correlation between DNA replication and formation of DSBs (r = 0.86). In cells treated with Mxt or Etp, the correlation was weaker (r = 0.52 and 0.64). In addition, both Mtx and Etp caused induction of γH2AX in cells not replicating DNA. Confocal imaging of nuclei of cells treated with Tpt revealed the presence of γH2AX foci predominantly in DNA replicating cells and close association and co-localization of γH2AX foci with DNA replication sites. In cells treated with Mxt or Etp, the γH2AX foci were induced in DNA replicating as well as non-replicating cells but the close association between a large proportion of γH2AX foci and DNA replication sites was also apparent. The data are consistent with the view that collision of DNA replication forks with cleavable Top1–DNA complexes stabilized by Tpt/Cpt is the sole cause of induction of DSBs. Additional mechanisms such as involvement of transcription and/or generation of oxidative stress may contribute to DSBs induction by Mxt and Etp. The confocal analysis of the association between DNA replication sites and the sites of DSBs (γH2AX foci) opens a new approach for mechanistic studies of the involvement of DNA replication in induction of DNA damage.
S phase; cell cycle; EdU incorporation; DNA damage response; click chemistry; H2AX phosphorylation
The analysis of protein-protein-interactions is a key focus of proteomics efforts. The yeast two-hybrid system has been the most commonly used method in genome-wide searches for protein interaction partners. However, the throughput of the current yeast two-hybrid array approach is hampered by the involvement of the time-consuming LacZ assay and/or the incompatibility of liquid handling automation due to the requirement for selection of colonies/diploids on agar plates. To facilitate large-scale yeast two-hybrid assays, we report a novel array approach by coupling a GFP reporter based yeast two-hybrid system with high throughput flow cytometry that enables the processing of a 96 well plate in as little as 3 minutes. In this approach, the yEGFP reporter has been established in both AH109 (MATa) and Y187 (MATα) reporter cells. It not only allows the generation of two copies of GFP reporter genes in diploid cells, but also allows the convenient determination of self-activators generated from both bait and prey constructs by flow cytometry. We demonstrate a Y2H array assay procedure that is carried out completely in liquid media in 96-well plates by mating bait and prey cells in liquid YPD media, selecting the diploids containing positive interaction pairs in selective media and analyzing the GFP reporter directly by flow cytometry. We have evaluated this flow cytometry based array procedure by showing that the interaction of the positive control pair P53/T is able to be reproducibly detected at 72 hrs post-mating compared to the negative control pairs. We conclude that our flow cytometry based yeast two-hybrid approach is robust, convenient, quantitative, and is amenable to large-scale analysis using liquid-handling automation.
HT flow cytometry; Protein-protein interaction; Yeast two-hybrid system; Array approach
In spite of the recognition by the flow cytometry community of potential aerosol hazards associated with cell sorting, there has been no previous study that has thoroughly characterized the aerosols that can be produced by cell sorters. In this study an Aerodynamic Particle Sizer was used to determine the concentration and aerodynamic diameter of aerosols produced by a FACS Aria II cell sorter under various conditions. Aerosol containment and evacuation was also evaluated using this novel methodology. The results showed that high concentrations of aerosols in the range of 1–3 μm can be produced in fail mode and that with decreased sheath pressure, aerosol concentration decreased and aerodynamic diameter increased. Although the engineering controls of the FACS Aria II for containment were effective, sort chamber evacuation of aerosols following a simulated nozzle obstruction was ineffective. However, simple modifications to the FACS Aria II are described that greatly improved sort chamber aerosol evacuation. The results of this study will facilitate the risk assessment of cell sorting potentially biohazardous samples by providing much needed data regarding aerosol production and containment.
human; T cells; Treg
Induction of DNA damage by oxidants such as H2O2 activates the complex network of DNA damage response (DDR) pathways present in cells to initiate DNA repair, halt cell cycle progression, and prepare an apoptotic reaction. We have previously reported that activation of Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated protein kinase (ATM) and induction of γH2AX are among the early events of the DDR induced by exposure of cells to H2O2, and in human pulmonary carcinoma A549 cells, both events were expressed predominantly during S-phase. This study was designed to further explore a correlation between these events and DNA replication. Toward this end, we utilized 5-ethynyl-2′deoxyuridine (EdU) and the “click chemistry” approach to label DNA during replication, followed by exposure of A549 cells to H2O2. Multiparameter laser scanning cytometric analysis of these cells made it possible to identify DNA replicating cells and directly correlate H2O2-induced ATM activation and induction of γH2AX with DNA replication on a cell by cell basis. After pulse-labeling with EdU and exposure to H2O2, confocal microscopy was also used to examine the localization of DNA replication sites (“replication factories”) versus the H2AX phosphorylation sites (γH2AX foci) in nuclear chromatin in an attempt to observe the absence or presence of colocalization. The data indicate a close association between DNA replication and H2AX phosphorylation in A549 cells, suggesting that these DNA damage response events may be triggered by stalled replication forks and perhaps also by induction of DNA double-strand breaks at the primary DNA lesions induced by H2O2
reactive oxygen species; hydrogen peroxide; S phase; cell cycle; EdU incorporation; DNA damage response; replication stress
By using imaging spectrophotometry with paired images in the 200- to 280-nm wavelength range, we have directly mapped intracellular nucleic acid and protein distributions across a population of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-K1) cells. A broadband 100× objective with a numerical aperture of 1.2NA (glycerin immersion) and a novel laser-induced-plasma point source generated high-contrast images with short (~100 ms) exposures and a lateral resolution nearing 200 nm that easily resolves internal organelles. In a population of 420 CHO-K1 cells and 477 nuclei, we found a G1 whole-cell nucleic acid peak at 26.6 pg, a nuclear-isolated total nucleic acid peak at 11.4 pg, and, as inferred by RNase treatment, a G1 total DNA mass of 7.4 pg. At the G1 peak we found a whole-cell protein mass of 95.6 pg, and a nuclear-isolated protein mass of 39.3 pg. An algorithm for protein quantification that senses peptide-bond (220-nm) absorbance was found to have a higher signal-to-noise ratio and to provide more reliable nucleic acid and protein determinations when compared to more classical 280-nm/260-nm algorithms when used for intracellular mass mapping. Using simultaneous imaging with common nuclear stains (Hoechst 33342, Syto-14, and Sytox Orange), we have compared staining patterns to deep-UV images of condensed chromatin and have confirmed bias of these common nuclear stains related to nuclear packaging. The approach allows absolute mass measurements with no special sample preparation or staining. It can be used in conjunction with normal fluorescence microscopy and with relatively modest modification of the microscope.
deep ultraviolet; CHO cells; native contrast; Hoechst; nuclear stain
human; B cells; memory; SLE
Flow cytometry is a potentially efficient approach for the quantification of parasitemias in experimental malaria infections and drug susceptibility assays using rodent malaria models such as Plasmodium berghei. In this study, we used two red DNA-binding fluorochromes, rhodamine 800 (R800) and LD700, to measure parasitemia levels in whole blood samples from mice infected with P. berghei. Blood samples were treated with RNAse A to eliminate RNA-derived signals. Propidium iodide, which stains both DNA and RNA, was used as a positive control. The parasitemia levels determined by R800 and LD700 were comparable to those calculated by microscopic analysis of blood smears and flow cytometry using Hoechst 33258. RNAse treatment did not affect these measurements. We also used R800 or LD700 to quantify parasitemias in mice infected with a GFP-expressing P. berghei line to correlate the parasitemia levels determined by DNA staining versus parasite numbers using GFP fluorescence as a surrogate measurement. A positive correlation was found between levels determined by flow cytometry using these dyes and those measured by GFP expression. Similar results were obtained when parasitemias determined by flow cytometry were compared to those determined by conventional microscopy. The limit of detection of infected red blood cells using R800 or LD700 staining was 0.1% and 0.15%, respectively. This study demonstrates that red laser-based flow cytometry using R800 or LD700 can be used for effective quantification of parasitemia levels in Plasmodium infected red blood cells. Furthermore, this method has the advantage that it does not require RNAse pretreatment and allows for a greater amount of cells to be analyzed for parasite burden than otherwise measured by conventional microscopy.
malaria; parasitemia; fluorescent dyes; cytometry
The circulating tumor cells (CTCs) appear to be a marker of metastasis development, especially, for highly aggressive and epidemically growing melanoma malignancy that is often metastatic at early stages. Recently, we introduced in vivo photoacoustic (PA) flow cytometry (PAFC) for label-free detection of mouse B16F10 CTCs in melanoma-bearing mice using melanin as an intrinsic marker. Here, we significantly improve the speed of PAFC by using a high pulse repetition rate laser operating at 820 and 1064 nm wavelengths. This platform was used in preclinical studies for label-free PA detection of low pigmented human CTCs. Demonstrated label-free PAFC detection, low level of background signals, and favorable safety standards for near infrared irradiation suggest that a fiber laser operating at 1064 nm at pulse repetition rates up to 0.5 MHz could be a promising source for portable clinical PAFC devices. The possible applications can include early diagnosis of melanoma at the parallel progression of primary tumor and CTCs, detection of cancer recurrence, residual disease, and real-time monitoring of therapy efficiency by counting CTCs before, during and after therapeutic intervention. Herewith, we also address sensitivity of label-free PAFC melanoma CTCs detection and introduce in vivo CTCs targeting by magnetic nanoparticles conjugated with specific antibody and magnetic cells enrichment.
in vivo flow cytometry; photoacoustics; melanoma; metastasis; circulating tumor cells; high pulse repetition rate laser; magnetic nanoparticles; in vivo cell enrichment
In vivo flow cytometry has facilitated advances in the ultrasensitive detection of tumor cells, bacteria, nanoparticles, dyes, and other normal and abnormal objects directly in blood and lymph circulatory systems. Here, we propose in vivo plant flow cytometry for the real-time noninvasive study of nanomaterial transport in xylem and phloem plant vascular systems. As a proof of this concept, we demonstrate in vivo real-time photoacoustic monitoring of quantum dot-carbon nanotube conjugate uptake and uptake by roots and spreading through stem to leaves in a tomato plant. In addition, in vivo scanning cytometry using multimodal photoacoustic, photothermal, and fluorescent detection schematics provided multiplex detection and identification of nanoparticles accumulated in plant leaves in the presence of intensive absorption, scattering, and autofluorescent backgrounds. The use of a portable fiber-based photoacoustic flow cytometer for studies of plant vasculature was demonstrated. These integrated cytometry modalities using both endogenous and exogenous contrast agents have a potential to open new avenues of in vivo study of the nutrients, products of photosynthesis and metabolism, nanoparticles, infectious agents, and other objects transported through plant vasculature.
Photothermal; photoacoustic; flow cytometry; scanning cytometry; imaging; plants; tomato; nanotechnology
Recently, photoacoustic (PA) flow cytometry (PAFC) has been developed for in vivo detection of circulating tumor cells and bacteria targeted by nanoparticles. Here, we propose multispectral PAFC with multiple dyes having distinctive absorption spectra as multicolor PA contrast agents. As a first step of our proof-of-concept, we characterized high-speed PAFC capability to monitor the clearance of three dyes (ICG, MB, and TB) in an animal model in vivo and in real time. We observed strong dynamic PA signal fluctuations, which can be associated with interactions of dyes with circulating blood cells and plasma proteins. PAFC demonstrated enumeration of circulating red and white blood cells labeled with ICG and MB, respectively, and detection of rare dead cells uptaking TB directly in bloodstream. The possibility for accurate measurements of various dye concentrations including CV and BG were verified in vitro using complementary to PAFC photothermal (PT) technique and spectrophotometry under batch and flow conditions. We further analyze the potential of integrated PAFC/PT spectroscopy with multiple dyes for rapid and accurate measurements of circulating blood volume without a priori information on hemoglobin content, which is impossible with existing optical techniques. This is important in many medical conditions including surgery and trauma with extensive blood loss, rapid fluid administration, transfusion of red blood cells. The potential for developing a robust clinical PAFC prototype that is, safe for human, and its applications for studying the liver function are further highlighted.
in vivo flow cytometry; photoacoustic method; photothermal spectroscopy; circulating blood volume; contrast agent; dye
Conventional photothermal (PT) and photoacousic (PA) imaging, spectroscopy, and cytometry are preferentially based on positive PT/PA effects, when signals are above background. Here, we introduce PT/PA technique based on detection of negative signals below background. Among various new applications, we propose label-free in vivo flow cytometry of circulating clots. No method has been developed for the early detection of clots of different compositions as a source of severe thromboembolisms including ischemia at strokes and myocardial dysfunction at heart attack. When a low-absorbing, platelet-rich clot passes a laser-irradiated vessel volume, a transient decrease in local absorption results in an ultrasharp negative PA hole in blood background. Using this phenomenon alone or in combination with positive contrasts, we demonstrated identification of white, red and mixed clots on a mouse model of myocardial infarction and human blood. The concentration and size of clots were measured with threshold down to few clots in the entire circulation with size as low as 20 µm. This multiparameter diagnostic platform using portable personal high-speed flow cytometer with negative dynamic contrast mode has potential to real-time defining risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, and for prognosis and prevention of stroke or use clot count as a marker of therapy efficacy. Possibility for label-free detection of platelets, leukocytes, tumor cells or targeting them by negative PA probes (e.g., nonabsorbing beads or bubbles) is also highlighted.
Although the frequency and consequence of sperm chromosomal abnormalities are considerable, few epidemiologic studies in large samples have been conducted to investigate etiologic risk factors. This is, in part, attributable to the labor intensive demands of manual sperm FISH scoring. As part of an epidemiologic study investigating environmental risk factors for aneuploidy among men attending a hospital-based fertility clinic, a semi-automated method of slide scoring was further validated and used to estimate sex chromosome sperm disomy frequency in a large number of samples. Multiprobe fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for chromosomes X, Y, and 18 was used to determine sex chromosome disomy in sperm nuclei. Semi-automated scoring methods were used to quantify X disomy (sperm FISH genotype XX18), Y disomy (YY18), and XY disomy (XY18). The semi-automated results were compared to the results from manual scoring in ten slides. The semi-automated method was then used to estimate sex chromosome disomy frequency in 60 men. Of 10 slides scored, significant differences between the manual and semi-automated results were seen primarily in one slide that was of poor quality because of over swollen nuclei. Among 60 men analyzed using the semi-automated method, median total sex chromosome disomy frequency was 1.65%, which is higher than seen among normal men but within range with reports from fertility clinic populations. These results further validate that semi-automated methods can be used to score sperm disomy with results comparable to manual methods. This is the largest study to date to provide estimates of sex chromosome disomy among men attending fertility clinics. These methods should be replicated in larger clinic populations to arrive at stable estimates of aneuploidy frequency in men who are members of subfertile couples.
aneuploidy; chromosomal aberrations; in situ hybridization; fluorescence; reproduction; sperm
The nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathway, which regulates many cellular processes including proliferation, apoptosis, and survival, has emerged as an important therapeutic target in cancer. Activation of the NF-κB transcription factor is associated with nuclear translocation of the p65 component of the complex. Conventional methods employed to determine nuclear translocation of NF-κB either lack statistical robustness (microscopy) or the ability to discern heterogeneity within the sampled populations (Western blotting and Gel Shift assays). The ImageStream platform combines the high image content information of microscopy with the high throughput and multiparameter analysis of flow cytometry which overcomes the aforementioned limitations of conventional assays. It is demonstrated that ImageStream assessment of receptor-mediated (TNFα) and drug (Daunorubicin, DNR)-induced NF-κB translocation in leukemic cell lines correlates well with microscopy analysis and Western blot analysis. It is further demonstrated that ImageStream cytometry enables quantitative assessment of p65 translocation in immunophenotypically-defined subpopulations; and that this assessment is highly reproducible. It is also demonstrated that, quantitatively, the DNR-induced nuclear translocation of NF-κB correlates well with a biological response (apoptosis). We conclude that the ImageStream has the potential to be a powerful tool to evaluate NF-κB /p65 activity as a determinant of response to therapies designed to target aberrant NF-κB signaling activities.
NF-κB; leukemia; ImageStream; p65; confocal; western blot; quantitative imaging
By virtue of superior preservation of proteins and nucleic acids the zinc salt-based fixatives (ZBF) has been proposed as an alternative to precipitants and cross-linking fixatives in histopathology. It was recently reported that ZBF is compatible with analysis of cell surface immunophenotype and detection of intracellular epitopes by flow cytometry. The aim of this study was to explore whether ZBF is also compatible with the detection of DNA damage response assessed by phospho-specific antibodies (Abs) detecting phosphorylation of the key proteins of that pathway. DNA damage in human pulmonary adenocarcinoma A549 cells was induced by treatment with the DNA topoisomerase I inhibitor camptothecin and phosphorylation of histone H2AX on Ser139 (γH2AX) and of ATM on Ser1981 was detected with phospho-specific Abs; cellular fluorescence was measured by laser scanning cytometry (LSC). The sensitivity and accuracy of detection of H2AX and ATM phosphorylation concurrent with the detection of DNA replication by EdU incorporation and “click chemistry” was found in ZBF fixed cells to be comparable to that of cell fixed in formaldehyde. The accuracy of DNA content measurement as evident from the resolution of DNA content frequency histograms of cells stained with DAPI was somewhat better in ZBF- than in formaldehyde-fixed cells. The pattern of chromatin condensation revealed by the intensity of maximal pixel of DAPI that allows one to identify mitotic and immediately post-mitotic cells by LSC was preserved after ZBF fixation. ZBF fixation was also compatible with the detection of γH2AX foci considered to be the hallmarks of induction of DNA double-strand breaks. Analysis of cells by flow cytometry revealed that ZBF fixation of lymphoblastoid TK6 cells led to about 60 and 33% higher intensity of the side and forward light scatter, respectively, compared to formaldehyde fixed cells.
gammaH2AX; ATM activation; click chemistry; EdU incorporation; cell cycle; DNA replication; S phase; confocal microscopy
Given the importance of subcellular location to protein function, computational simulations of cell behaviors will ultimately require the ability to model the distributions of proteins within organelles and other structures. Towards this end, statistical learning methods have previously been used to build models of sets of two-dimensional microscope images, where each set contains multiple images for a single subcellular location pattern. The model learned from each set of images not only represents the pattern but also captures the variation in that pattern from cell to cell. The models consist of sub-models for nuclear shape, cell shape, organelle size and shape and organelle distribution relative to nuclear and cell boundaries, and allow synthesis of images with the expectation that they are drawn from the same underlying statistical distribution as the images used to train them. Here we extend this generative models approach to three dimensions using a similar framework, permitting protein subcellular locations to be described more accurately. Models of different patterns can be combined to yield synthetic multi-channel image containing as many proteins as desired, something that is difficult to obtain by direct microscope imaging for more than a few proteins. In addition, the model parameters represent a more compact and interpretable way of communicating subcellular patterns than descriptive image features, and may be particularly effective for automated identification of changes in subcellular organization caused by perturbagens.
generative models; machine learning; subcellular location; microscope image analysis; cell shape; nuclear shape; location proteomics
Conventional compensation of flow cytometry (FMC) data of an N-stained sample requires additional data sets, of N single-stained control samples, to estimate the spillover coefficients. Single-stained controls however are the least rigorous controls because any of the multi-stained controls are closer to the N-stained sample. In this paper a new, optimization based, compensation method has been developed that is able to use not only single- but also multi-stained controls to improve estimates of the spillover coefficients. The method is demonstrated on a data set from 5-stained dentritic cells (DCs) with 5 single-stained and 8 multi-stained controls. This approach is practical and leads to significant improvements in FCM compensation.
Compensation in flow cytometry; optimization; spillover coefficients; dendritic cells
This review covers progress in the development of cytometric methodologies designed to assess DNA replication and RNA synthesis. The early approaches utilizing autoradiography to detect incorporation of 3H- or 14C-labeled thymidine were able to identify the four fundamental phases of the cell cycle G1, S, G2, and M, and by analysis of the fraction of labeled mitosis (FLM), to precisely define the kinetics of cell progression through these phases. Analysis of 3H-uridine incorporation and RNA content provided the means to distinguish quiescent G0 from cycling G1 cells. Subsequent progress in analysis of DNA replication was based on the use of BrdU as a DNA precursor and its detection by the quenching of the fluorescence intensity of DNA-bound fluorochromes such as Hoechst 33358 or acridine orange as measured by flow cytometry. Several variants of this methodology have been designed and used in studies to detect anticancer drug-induced perturbations of cell cycle kinetics. The next phase of method development, which was particularly useful in studies of the cell cycle in vivo, including clinical applications, relied on immunocytochemical detection of incorporated halogenated DNA or RNA precursors. This approach however was hampered by the need for DNA denaturation, which made it difficult to concurrently detect other cell constituents for multiparametric analysis. The recently introduced “click chemistry” approach has no such limitation and is the method of choice for analysis of DNA replication and RNA synthesis. This method is based on the use of 5-ethynyl-2′deoxyuridine (EdU) as a DNA precursor or 5-ethynyluridine (EU) as an RNA precursor and their detection with fluorochrome-tagged azides utilizing a copper (I) catalyzed [3+2] cycloaddition. Several examples are presented that illustrate incorporation of EdU or EU in cells subjected to DNA damage detected as histone H2AX phosphorylation that have been analyzed by flow or laser scanning cytometry.
cell cycle; flow cytometry; laser scanning cytometry; click chemistry; 5-ethynyl-2′deoxyuridine incorporation; 5-ethynyluridine incorporation; H2AX phosphorylation; UV light; S-phase