Morphometry can help develop mass spectrometry imaging

Automated Morphological and Morphometric Analysis of Mass Spectrometry Imaging Data: Application to Biomarker Discovery

Gaël Picard de Muller (1),  Rima Ait-Belkacem (1), David Bonnel (1), Rémi Longuespée (2,3), Jonathan Stauber (1)
J. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom. (2017)

1 ImaBiotech, MS Imaging Department, Lille, France
2 Mass Spectrometry Laboratory (LSM), Systems Biology and Chemical Biology, GIGA-Research, University of Liège, Allée du 6
août 11, 4000, Liège, Belgium
3 Present Address: Institute of Pathology, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 224, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany

Mass spectrometry imaging datasets are mostly analyzed in terms of
average intensity in regions of interest. However, biological tissues have different morphologies with several sizes, shapes, and structures. The important biological information, contained in this highly heterogeneous cellular organization, could be hidden by analyzing the average intensities. Finding an analytical process of morphology would help to find such information, describe tissue model, and support identification of biomarkers. This study describes an informatics approach for the extraction and identification of mass spectrometry image features and its application to sample analysis and modeling. For the proof of concept, two different tissue types (healthy kidney and CT-26 xenograft tumor tissues) were imaged and analyzed. A mouse kidneymodel and tumormodel were generated using morphometric
– number of objects and total surface– information. The morphometric information was used to identify m/z that have a heterogeneous distribution. It seems to be a worthwhile pursuit as clonal heterogeneity in a tumor is of clinical relevance. This study provides a new approach to find biomarker or support tissue classification with more information.

Keywords: Mass spectrometry imaging, Computer vision, Data analysis, Quantitative analysis, Morphology


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