Comparative exploration of multidimensional flow cytometry software: a model approach evaluating T cell polyfunctional behavior Journal Article

Authors: Spear, T. T.; Nishimura, M. I.; Simms, P. E.
Article Title: Comparative exploration of multidimensional flow cytometry software: a model approach evaluating T cell polyfunctional behavior
Abstract: Advancement in flow cytometry reagents and instrumentation has allowed for simultaneous analysis of large numbers of lineage/functional immune cell markers. Highly complex datasets generated by polychromatic flow cytometry require proper analytical software to answer investigators#39; questions. A problem among many investigators and flow cytometry Shared Resource Laboratories (SRLs), including our own, is a lack of access to a flow cytometry-knowledgeable bioinformatics team, making it difficult to learn and choose appropriate analysis tool(s). Here, we comparatively assess various multidimensional flow cytometry software packages for their ability to answer a specific biologic question and provide graphical representation output suitable for publication, as well as their ease of use and cost. We assessed polyfunctional potential of TCR-transduced T cells, serving as a model evaluation, using multidimensional flow cytometry to analyze 6 intracellular cytokines and degranulation on a per-cell basis. Analysis of 7 parameters resulted in 128 possible combinations of positivity/negativity, far too complex for basic flow cytometry software to analyze fully. Various software packages were used, analysis methods used in each described, and representative output displayed. Of the tools investigated, automated classification of cellular expression by nonlinear stochastic embedding (ACCENSE) and coupled analysis in Pestle/simplified presentation of incredibly complex evaluations (SPICE) provided the most user-friendly manipulations and readable output, evaluating effects of altered antigen-specific stimulation on T cell polyfunctionality. This detailed approach may serve as a model for other investigators/SRLs in selecting the most appropriate software to analyze complex flow cytometry datasets. Further development and awareness of available tools will help guide proper data analysis to answer difficult biologic questions arising from incredibly complex datasets.
Journal Title: Journal of leukocyte biology
ISSN: 1938-3673; 0741-5400
Publisher: Unknown  
Journal Place: United States
Date Published: 2017
Language: eng
Notes: LR: 20170527; CI: (c) Society for Leukocyte Biology.; JID: 8405628; OTO: NOTNLM; 2017/04/06 [received]; 2017/05/08 [revised]; 2017/05/08 [accepted]; aheadofprint