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Local cell metrics: a novel method for analysis of cell-cell interactions
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Details:
  • Pubmed ID:
    19852804
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC2944256
  • Description:
    Background

    The regulation of many cell functions is inherently linked to cell-cell contact interactions. However, effects of contact interactions among adherent cells can be difficult to detect with global summary statistics due to the localized nature and noise inherent to cell-cell interactions. The lack of informatics approaches specific for detecting cell-cell interactions is a limitation in the analysis of large sets of cell image data, including traditional and combinatorial or high-throughput studies. Here we introduce a novel histogram-based data analysis strategy, termed local cell metrics (LCMs), which addresses this shortcoming.

    Results

    The new LCM method is demonstrated via a study of contact inhibition of proliferation of MC3T3-E1 osteoblasts. We describe how LCMs can be used to quantify the local environment of cells and how LCMs are decomposed mathematically into metrics specific to each cell type in a culture, e.g., differently-labelled cells in fluorescence imaging. Using this approach, a quantitative, probabilistic description of the contact inhibition effects in MC3T3-E1 cultures has been achieved. We also show how LCMs are related to the naïve Bayes model. Namely, LCMs are Bayes class-conditional probability functions, suggesting their use for data mining and classification.

    Conclusion

    LCMs are successful in robust detection of cell contact inhibition in situations where conventional global statistics fail to do so. The noise due to the random features of cell behavior was suppressed significantly as a result of the focus on local distances, providing sensitive detection of cell-cell contact effects. The methodology can be extended to any quantifiable feature that can be obtained from imaging of cell cultures or tissue samples, including optical, fluorescent, and confocal microscopy. This approach may prove useful in interpreting culture and histological data in fields where cell-cell interactions play a critical role in determining cell fate, e.g., cancer, developmental biology, and tissue regeneration.

  • Document Type:
  • Collection(s):
  • Funding:
    HK072039/HK/PHITPO CDC HHS/United States
    RR17425/RR/NCRR NIH HHS/United States
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