Immune monitoring using mass cytometry and related high-dimensional imaging approaches

Hartmann, F.J. and Bendall, S.C.

The cellular complexity and functional diversity of the human immune system necessitate the use of high-dimensional single-cell tools to uncover its role in multifaceted diseases such as rheumatic diseases, as well as other autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. Proteomic technologies that use elemental (heavy metal) reporter ions, such as mass cytometry (also known as CyTOF) and analogous high-dimensional imaging approaches (including multiplexed ion beam imaging (MIBI) and imaging mass cytometry (IMC)), have been developed from their low-dimensional counterparts, flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry, to meet this need. A growing number of studies have been published that use these technologies to identify functional biomarkers and therapeutic targets in rheumatic diseases, but the full potential of their application to rheumatic disease research has yet to be fulfilled. This Review introduces the underlying technologies for high-dimensional immune monitoring and discusses aspects necessary for their successful implementation, including study design principles, analytical tools and future developments for the field of rheumatology.


Hartmann, F.J. and Bendall, S.C. "Immune monitoring using mass cytometry and related high-dimensional imaging approaches" Nature Reviews Rheumatology (2020): 87-99