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Mass and fluorescence cytometry are quantitative single cell flow cytometry approaches that are powerful tools for characterizing diverse tissues and cellular systems. Here mass cytometry was directly compared with fluorescence cytometry by studying phenotypes of healthy human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in the context of superantigen stimulation. One mass cytometry panel and five fluorescence cytometry panels were used to measure 20 well-established lymphocyte markers of memory and activation. Comparable frequencies of both common and rare cell subpopulations were observed with fluorescence and mass cytometry using biaxial gating. The unsupervised high-dimensional analysis tool viSNE was then used to analyze data sets generated from both mass and fluorescence cytometry. viSNE analysis effectively characterized PBMC using eight features per cell and identified similar frequencies of activated CD4+ T cells with both technologies. These results suggest combinations of unsupervised analysis programs and extended multiparameter cytometry will be indispensable tools for detecting perturbations in protein expression in both health and disease.
© 2015 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.
Single cell mass cytometry is revolutionizing our ability to quantitatively characterize cellular biomarkers and signaling networks. Mass cytometry experiments routinely measure 25-35 features of each cell in primary human tissue samples. The relative ease with which a novice user can generate a large amount of high quality data and the novelty of the approach have created a need for example protocols, analysis strategies, and datasets. In this chapter, we present detailed protocols for two mass cytometry experiments designed as training tools. The first protocol describes detection of 26 features on the surface of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. In the second protocol, a mass cytometry signaling network profile measures 25 node states comprised of five key signaling effectors (AKT, ERK1/2, STAT1, STAT5, and p38) quantified under five conditions (Basal, FLT3L, SCF, IL-3, and IFNγ). This chapter compares manual and unsupervised data analysis approaches, including bivariate plots, heatmaps, histogram overlays, SPADE, and viSNE. Data files in this chapter have been shared online using Cytobank ( http://www.cytobank.org/irishlab/ ).
Bilirubin is thought to exert anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1)-dependent leukocyte migration and by suppressing the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). As VCAM-1 and iNOS are important mediators of tissue injury in the dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) murine model of inflammatory colitis, we examined whether bilirubin prevents colonic injury in DSS-treated mice. Male C57BL/6 mice were administered 2.5% DSS in the drinking water for 7 days, while simultaneously receiving intraperitoneal injections of bilirubin (30 mg/kg) or potassium phosphate vehicle. Disease activity was monitored, peripheral blood counts and serum nitrate levels were determined, and intestinal specimens were analyzed for histological injury, leukocyte infiltration, and iNOS expression. The effect of bilirubin on IL-5 production by HSB-2 cells and on Jurkat cell transendothelial migration also was determined. DSS-treated mice that simultaneously received bilirubin lost less body weight, had lower serum nitrate levels, and exhibited reduced disease severity than vehicle-treated animals. Concordantly, histopathological analyses revealed that bilirubin-treated mice manifested significantly less colonic injury, including reduced infiltration of eosinophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes, and diminished iNOS expression. Bilirubin administration also was associated with decreased eosinophil and monocyte infiltration into the small intestine, with a corresponding increase in peripheral blood eosinophilia. Bilirubin prevented Jurkat migration but did not alter IL-5 production. In conclusion, bilirubin prevents DSS-induced colitis by inhibiting the migration of leukocytes across the vascular endothelium and by suppressing iNOS expression.
Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.
BACKGROUND - Accelerated telomere shortening may cause cancer via chromosomal instability, making it a potentially useful biomarker. However, publications on blood telomere length (BTL) and cancer are inconsistent. We prospectively examined BTL measures over time and cancer incidence.
METHODS - We included 792 Normative Aging Study participants with 1-4 BTL measurements from 1999 to 2012. We used linear mixed-effects models to examine BTL attrition by cancer status (relative to increasing age and decreasing years pre-diagnosis), Cox models for time-dependent associations, and logistic regression for cancer incidence stratified by years between BTL measurement and diagnosis.
FINDINGS - Age-related BTL attrition was faster in cancer cases pre-diagnosis than in cancer-free participants (pdifference = 0.017); all participants had similar age-adjusted BTL 8-14 years pre-diagnosis, followed by decelerated attrition in cancer cases resulting in longer BTL three (p = 0.003) and four (p = 0.012) years pre-diagnosis. Longer time-dependent BTL was associated with prostate cancer (HR = 1.79, p = 0.03), and longer BTL measured ≤ 4 years pre-diagnosis with any (OR = 3.27, p < 0.001) and prostate cancers (OR = 6.87, p < 0.001).
INTERPRETATION - Age-related BTL attrition was faster in cancer cases but their age-adjusted BTL attrition began decelerating as diagnosis approached. This may explain prior inconsistencies and help develop BTL as a cancer detection biomarker.
Eicosanoids are important vascular regulators, but the phospholipase A2 (PLA2) isoforms supporting their production within the cardiovascular system are not fully understood. To address this, we have studied platelets, endothelial cells, and leukocytes from 2 siblings with a homozygous loss-of-function mutation in group IVA cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2α). Chromatography/mass spectrometry was used to determine levels of a broad range of eicosanoids produced by isolated vascular cells, and in plasma and urine. Eicosanoid release data were paired with studies of cellular function. Absence of cPLA2α almost abolished eicosanoid synthesis in platelets (e.g., thromboxane A2, control 20.5 ± 1.4 ng/ml vs. patient 0.1 ng/ml) and leukocytes [e.g., prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), control 21.9 ± 7.4 ng/ml vs. patient 1.9 ng/ml], and this was associated with impaired platelet activation and enhanced inflammatory responses. cPLA2α-deficient endothelial cells showed reduced, but not absent, formation of prostaglandin I2 (prostacyclin; control 956 ± 422 pg/ml vs. patient 196 pg/ml) and were primed for inflammation. In the urine, prostaglandin metabolites were selectively influenced by cPLA2α deficiency. For example, prostacyclin metabolites were strongly reduced (18.4% of control) in patients lacking cPLA2α, whereas PGE2 metabolites (77.8% of control) were similar to healthy volunteer levels. These studies constitute a definitive account, demonstrating the fundamental role of cPLA2α to eicosanoid formation and cellular responses within the human circulation.
BACKGROUND - High-throughput technologies such as flow and mass cytometry have the potential to illuminate cellular networks. However, analyzing the data produced by these technologies is challenging. Visualization is needed to help researchers explore this data.
RESULTS - We developed a web-based software program, NetworkPainter, to enable researchers to analyze dynamic cytometry data in the context of pathway diagrams. NetworkPainter provides researchers a graphical interface to draw and "paint" pathway diagrams with experimental data, producing animated diagrams which display the activity of each network node at each time point.
CONCLUSION - NetworkPainter enables researchers to more fully explore multi-parameter, dynamical cytometry data.
Patients with histories of myocardial infarction display shortened leukocyte telomere length (LTL), but conflicting findings have been reported on the relation between LTL and subclinical coronary artery atherosclerosis, as expressed by coronary artery calcium (CAC). The aim of this study was to examine the relation between LTL, measured by Southern blots, and CAC in 3,169 participants in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study. Participants consisted of 2,556 whites, 613 blacks, 1,790 women, and 1,379 men. The odds of having CAC ≥100 for the shortest LTL tertile versus the longest LTL tertile were 1.95 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.28 to 3.16) in white men and 1.76 (95% CI 1.18 to 2.45) in white women, after adjusting for multiple covariates of CAC. The corresponding odds ratios for blacks were 1.53 (95% CI 0.67 to 3.50) and 0.87 (95% CI 0.37 to 2.00). Significance levels of tests for trend across LTL tertiles were p = 0.002 in white men, p = 0.006 in white women, p = 0.32 in black men, and p = 0.74 in black women. The associations, or lack of associations, were independent of C-reactive protein levels and other risk factors for CAC. As previously shown in other studies, whites displayed shorter LTLs than blacks (p <0.0001). In conclusion, the higher the coronary artery atherosclerotic burden in whites, the shorter the LTL. This LTL-atherosclerosis connection is not found in blacks. The mechanisms for the racial difference in LTL, CAC, and their interrelations do not seem to be related to inflammation and merit further research.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
BACKGROUND - Surveillance of integrity of the basic elements of the cell including DNA, RNA, and proteins is a critical element of cellular physiology. Mechanisms of surveillance of DNA and protein integrity are well understood. Surveillance of structural RNAs making up the vast majority of RNA in a cell is less well understood. Here, we sought to explore integrity of processing of structural RNAs in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and other inflammatory diseases.
RESULTS - We employed mononuclear cells obtained from subjects with RRMS and cell lines. We used quantitative-PCR and whole genome RNA sequencing to define defects in structural RNA surveillance and siRNAs to deplete target proteins. We report profound defects in surveillance of structural RNAs in RRMS exemplified by elevated levels of poly(A) + Y1-RNA, poly(A) + 18S rRNA and 28S rRNAs, elevated levels of misprocessed 18S and 28S rRNAs and levels of the U-class of small nuclear RNAs. Multiple sclerosis is also associated with genome-wide defects in mRNA splicing. Ro60 and La proteins, which exist in ribonucleoprotein particles and play different roles in quality control of structural RNAs, are also deficient in RRMS. In cell lines, silencing of the genes encoding Ro60 and La proteins gives rise to these same defects in surveillance of structural RNAs.
CONCLUSIONS - Our results establish that profound defects in structural RNA surveillance exist in RRMS and establish a causal link between Ro60 and La proteins and integrity of structural RNAs.
An excess of free heme is present in the blood during many types of hemolytic anemia. This has been linked to organ damage caused by heme-mediated oxidative stress and vascular inflammation. We investigated the mechanism of heme-induced coagulation activation in vivo. Heme caused coagulation activation in wild-type mice that was attenuated by an anti-tissue factor antibody and in mice expressing low levels of tissue factor. In contrast, neither factor XI deletion nor inhibition of factor XIIa-mediated factor XI activation reduced heme-induced coagulation activation, suggesting that the intrinsic coagulation pathway is not involved. We investigated the source of tissue factor in heme-induced coagulation activation. Heme increased the procoagulant activity of mouse macrophages and human PBMCs. Tissue factor-positive staining was observed on leukocytes isolated from the blood of heme-treated mice but not on endothelial cells in the lungs. Furthermore, heme increased vascular permeability in the mouse lungs, kidney and heart. Deletion of tissue factor from either myeloid cells, hematopoietic or endothelial cells, or inhibition of tissue factor expressed by non-hematopoietic cells did not reduce heme-induced coagulation activation. However, heme-induced activation of coagulation was abolished when both non-hematopoietic and hematopoietic cell tissue factor was inhibited. Finally, we demonstrated that coagulation activation was partially attenuated in sickle cell mice treated with recombinant hemopexin to neutralize free heme. Our results indicate that heme promotes tissue factor-dependent coagulation activation and induces tissue factor expression on leukocytes in vivo. We also demonstrated that free heme may contribute to thrombin generation in a mouse model of sickle cell disease.
Copyright© Ferrata Storti Foundation.
BACKGROUND - Mitochondria play an important role in cellular energy metabolism, free radical production, and apoptosis, and thus may be involved in cancer development.
METHODS - We evaluated mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number in peripheral leukocytes in relation to colorectal cancer risk in a case-control study of 444 colorectal cancer cases and 1,423 controls nested in the Shanghai Women's Health Study, a population-based, prospective cohort study. Relative mtDNA copy number was determined by a quantitative real-time PCR assay using peripheral leukocyte DNA samples collected at the time of study enrollment, before cancer diagnosis.
RESULTS - We found that baseline mtDNA copy number was lower among women who subsequently developed colorectal cancer [geometric mean, 0.277; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.269-0.285] than among women who remained cancer-free (geometric mean, 0.288; 95% CI, 0.284-0.293; P = 0.0153). Multivariate adjusted ORs were 1.26 (95% CI, 0.93-1.70) and 1.44 (95% CI, 1.06-1.94) for the middle and lower tertiles of mtDNA copy number, respectively, compared with the upper tertile (highest mtDNA copy number; Ptrend = 0.0204). The association varied little by the interval between blood collection and cancer diagnosis.
CONCLUSIONS - Our data suggest that mtDNA copy number measured in peripheral leukocytes may be a potential biomarker useful for colorectal cancer risk assessment.
IMPACT - If confirmed, mtDNA copy number measured in peripheral leukocytes may be a biomarker useful for colorectal cancer risk assessment.
©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.