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Spatial mapping of protein composition and tissue organization: a primer for multiplexed antibody-based imaging

Authors: Hickey, John W.; Neumann, Elizabeth K.; Radtke, Andrea J.; Camarillo, Jeannie M.; Beuschel, Rebecca T.; Albanese, Alexandre; McDonough, Elizabeth; Hatler, Julia; Wiblin, Anne E.; Fisher, Jeremy; Croteau, Josh; Small, Eliza C.; Sood, Anup; Caprioli, Richard M.; Angelo, R. Michael; Nolan, Garry P.; Chung, Kwanghun; Hewitt, Stephen M.; Germain, Ronald N.; Spraggins, Jeffrey M.; Lundberg, Emma; Snyder, Michael P.; Kelleher, Neil L.; Saka, Sinem K.

Online: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41592-021-01316-y

Issue: Nat Methods. 2022 Mar;19(3):284-295.


Tissues and organs are composed of distinct cell types that must operate in concert to perform physiological functions. Efforts to create high-dimensional biomarker catalogs of these cells are largely based on transcriptomic single-cell approaches that lack the spatial context required to understand critical cellular communication and correlated structural organization. To probe in situ biology with sufficient coverage depth, several multiplexed protein imaging methods have recently been developed. Though these antibody-based technologies differ in strategy and mode of immunolabeling and detection tags, they commonly utilize antibodies directed against protein biomarkers to provide detailed spatial and functional maps of complex tissues. As these promising antibody-based multiplexing approaches become more widely adopted, new frameworks and considerations are critical for training future users, generating molecular tools, validating antibody panels, and harmonizing datasets. In this perspective, we provide essential resources and key considerations for obtaining robust and reproducible multiplexed antibody-based imaging data compiling specialized knowledge from domain experts and technology developers.