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Method To Visualize the Intratumor Distribution and Impact of Gemcitabine in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma by Multimodal…

Gemcitabine (dFdC) is a common treatment for pancreatic cancer; however, it is thought that treatment may fail because tumor stroma prevents drug distribution to tumor cells. Gemcitabine is a pro-drug with active metabolites generated intracellularly; therefore, visualizing the distribution of parent drug as well as its metabolites is important. A multimodal imaging approach was developed using spatially coregistered mass spectrometry imaging (MSI), imaging mass cytometry (IMC), multiplex immunofluorescence microscopy (mIF), and hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining to assess the local distribution and metabolism of gemcitabine in tumors from a genetically engineered mouse model of pancreatic cancer (KPC) allowing for comparisons between effects in the tumor tissue and its microenvironment. Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) enabled the visualization of the distribution of gemcitabine (100 mg/kg), its phosphorylated metabolites dFdCMP, dFdCDP and dFdCTP, and the inactive metabolite dFdU. Distribution was compared to small-molecule ATR inhibitor AZD6738 (25 mg/kg), which was codosed. Gemcitabine metabolites showed heterogeneous distribution within the tumor, which was different from the parent compound. The highest abundance of dFdCMP, dFdCDP, and dFdCTP correlated with distribution of endogenous AMP, ADP, and ATP in viable tumor cell regions, showing that gemcitabine active metabolites are reaching the tumor cell compartment, while AZD6738 was located to nonviable tumor regions. The method revealed that the generation of active, phosphorylated dFdC metabolites as well as treatment-induced DNA damage primarily correlated with sites of high proliferation in KPC PDAC tumor tissue, rather than sites of high parent drug abundance.

Team Rosetta
Journal Analytical Chemistry
Authors Strittmatter et al
DATE 10 January 2022
Three-dimensional imaging mass cytometry for highly multiplexed molecular and cellular mapping of tissues and the tumor…

A holistic understanding of tissue and organ structure and function requires the detection of molecular constituents in their original three-dimensional (3D) context. Imaging mass cytometry (IMC) enables simultaneous detection of up to 40 antigens and transcripts using metal-tagged antibodies but has so far been restricted to two-dimensional imaging. Here we report the development of 3D IMC for multiplexed 3D tissue analysis at single-cell resolution and demonstrate the utility of the technology by analysis of human breast cancer samples. The resulting 3D models reveal cellular and microenvironmental heterogeneity and cell-level tissue organization not detectable in two dimensions. 3D IMC will prove powerful in the study of phenomena occurring in 3D space such as tumor cell invasion and is expected to provide invaluable insights into cellular microenvironments and tissue architecture.

Team IMAXT
Journal Nature Cancer
Authors Kuett et al
DATE 24 December 2021
Fusobacterium nucleatum drives a pro-inflammatory intestinal microenvironment through metabolite receptor-dependent modulation…

The colorectal cancer (CRC)-associated microbiota creates a pro-tumorigenic intestinal milieu and shapes immune responses within the tumor microenvironment. However, how oncomicrobes – like Fusobacterium nucleatum, found in the oral cavity and associated with CRC tissues affect these distinct aspects of tumorigenesis is difficult to parse. Herein, we found that neonatal inoculation of ApcMin/+ mice with F. nucleatum strain Fn7-1 circumvents technical barriers preventing its intestinal colonization, drives colonic Il17a expression prior to tumor formation, and potentiates intestinal tumorigenesis. Using gnotobiotic mice colonized with a minimal complexity microbiota (the altered Schaedler’s flora), we observed that intestinal Fn7-1 colonization increases colonic Th17 cell frequency and their IL-17A and IL-17F expression, along with a concurrent increase in colonic lamina propria Il23p19 expression. As Fn7-1 stably colonizes the intestinal tract in our models, we posited that microbial metabolites, specifically short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) that F. nucleatum abundantly produces in culture and, as we demonstrate, in the intestinal tract, might mediate part of its immunomodulatory effects in vivo. Supporting this hypothesis, we found that Fn7-1 did not alter RORγt+ CD4+T cell frequency in the absence of the SCFA receptor FFAR2. Taken together, our work suggests that F. nucleatum influences intestinal immunity by shaping Th17 responses in an FFAR2-dependent manner, although further studies are necessary to clarify the precise and multifaceted roles of FFAR2. The potential to increase intestinal Th17 responses is shared by another oncomicrobe, enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis, highlighting a conserved pathway that could potentially be targeted to slow oncomicrobe-mediated CRC.

Team OPTIMISTICC
Journal Gut Microbes
Authors Caitlin Brennan et al
DATE 15 November 2021
Modality Agnostic Model for Spatial Resolution in Mass Spectrometry Imaging: Application to MALDI MSI Data

Image resolution in mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is governed by the sampling probe, the motion of the stage relative to the probe, and the noise inherent for the sample and instrumentation employed. A new image formation model accounting for these variables is presented here. The model shows that the size of the probe, stage velocity, and the rate at which the probe consumes material from the surface govern the amount of blur present in the image. However, the main limiting factor for resolution is the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). To evaluate blurring and noise effects, a new computational method for measuring lateral resolution in MSI is proposed. A spectral decomposition of the observed image signal and noise is used to determine a resolution number. To evaluate this technique, a silver step edge was prepared. This device was imaged at different pixels sizes using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI MSI). A modulation transfer function (MTF) and a noise power spectrum (NPS) were computed for each single-ion image, and resolution was defined as the point of intersection between the MTF and the NPS. Finally, the algorithm was also applied to a MALDI MSI tissue data set.

Team Rosetta
Journal Analytical Chemistry
Authors Metodiev et al
DATE 12 November 2021
Holistic Characterization of a Salmonella Typhimurium Infection Model Using Integrated Molecular Imaging

A more complete and holistic view on host–microbe interactions is needed to understand the physiological and cellular barriers that affect the efficacy of drug treatments and allow the discovery and development of new therapeutics. Here, we developed a multimodal imaging approach combining histopathology with mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) and same section imaging mass cytometry (IMC) to study the effects of Salmonella Typhimurium infection in the liver of a mouse model using the S. Typhimurium strains SL3261 and SL1344. This approach enables correlation of tissue morphology and specific cell phenotypes with molecular images of tissue metabolism. IMC revealed a marked increase in immune cell markers and localization in immune aggregates in infected tissues. A correlative computational method (network analysis) was deployed to find metabolic features associated with infection and revealed metabolic clusters of acetyl carnitines, as well as phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine plasmalogen species, which could be associated with pro-inflammatory immune cell types. By developing an IMC marker for the detection of Salmonella LPS, we were further able to identify and characterize those cell types which contained S. Typhimurium.

Team Rosetta
Journal Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Authors Strittmatter et al
DATE 12 November 2021