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Highly multiplexed tissue imaging using repeated oligonucleotide exchange reaction

Authors: Kennedy-Darling, Julia; Bhate, Salil S.; Hickey, John W.; Black, Sarah; Barlow, Graham L.; Vazquez, Gustavo; Venkataraaman, Vishal G.; Samusik, Nikolay; Goltsev, Yury; Schürch, Christian M.; Nolan, Garry P.

Online: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/eji.202048891

Issue: Eur J Immunol . 2021 May;51(5):1262-1277.


Multiparameter tissue imaging enables analysis of cell-cell interactions in situ, the cellular basis for tissue structure, and novel cell types that are spatially restricted, giving clues to biological mechanisms behind tissue homeostasis and disease. Here, we streamlined and simplified the multiplexed imaging method CO-Detection by indEXing (CODEX) by validating 58 unique oligonucleotide barcodes that can be conjugated to antibodies. We showed that barcoded antibodies retained their specificity for staining cognate targets in human tissue. Antibodies were visualized one at a time by adding a fluorescently labeled oligonucleotide complementary to oligonucleotide barcode, imaging, stripping, and repeating this cycle. With this we developed a panel of 46 antibodies that was used to stain five human lymphoid tissues: three tonsils, a spleen, and a lymph node. To analyze the data produced, an image processing and analysis pipeline was developed that enabled single-cell analysis on the data, including unsupervised clustering that revealed 31 cell types across all tissues. We compared cell-type compositions within and directly surrounding follicles from the different lymphoid organs and evaluated cell-cell density correlations. This sequential oligonucleotide exchange technique enables a facile imaging of tissues that leverages pre-existing imaging infrastructure to decrease the barriers to broad use of multiplexed imaging. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.