Automated flow cytometric identification of disease-specific cells by the ECLIPSE algorithm

Rita Folcarelli*, Selma van Staveren, Roel Bouman, Bart Hilvering, Gerjen H. Tinnevelt, Geert Postma, Oscar F. van den Brink, Lutgarde M.C. Buydens, Nienke Vrisekoop, Leo Koenderman, Jeroen J. Jansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Multicolor Flow Cytometry (MFC)-based gating allows the selection of cellular (pheno)types based on their unique marker expression. Current manual gating practice is highly subjective and may remove relevant information to preclude discovery of cell populations with specific co-expression of multiple markers. Only multivariate approaches can extract such aspects of cell variability from multi-dimensional MFC data. We describe the novel method ECLIPSE (Elimination of Cells Lying in Patterns Similar to Endogeneity) to identify and characterize aberrant cells present in individuals out of homeostasis. ECLIPSE combines dimensionality reduction by Simultaneous Component Analysis with Kernel Density Estimates. A Difference between Densities (DbD) is used to eliminate cells in responder samples that overlap in marker expression with cells of controls. Thereby, subsequent data analyses focus on the immune response-specific cells, leading to more informative and focused models. To prove the power of ECLIPSE, we applied the method to study two distinct datasets: the in vivo neutrophil response induced by systemic endotoxin challenge and in studying the heterogeneous immune-response of asthmatics. ECLIPSE described the well-characterized common response in the LPS challenge insightfully, while identifying slight differences between responders. Also, ECLIPSE enabled characterization of the immune response associated to asthma, where the co-expressions between all markers were used to stratify patients according to disease-specific cell profiles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10907
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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