New automated computer program can accurately count micronuclei in cells

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Micronuclei, which are small nucleus-like structures within cells, are commonly associated with tumors. Now, researchers from Tsukuba, Japan have developed an automated computer program that can accurately and reproducibly count these structures from microscope images, which will increase the speed and accuracy of micronuclei research.

In a recently published study, researchers from the University of Tsukuba reported their new MATLAB-based program, named CAMDi (Calculating Automatic Micronuclei Distinction), which automatically counts the micronuclei from images of stained cells. Micronuclei can be stained the same way as regular nuclei, but they are differentiated from nuclei by their much smaller size. However, identifying them is easier said than done, because automatic systems for counting micronuclei have traditionally used images taken from just a single level of tissue. To understand why this is important, imagine cutting a cross-section through a ball that is fixed in space. If you cut a slice closer to the top or bottom areas of the ball, the size of the cross-section would be much smaller than if you chose a slice closer to the center—so a cross-section close to the periphery of a nucleus can easily be mistaken for a micronucleus.

To combat this problem, researchers at the University of Tsukuba took photos at different levels through cells or tissue and created a program capable of analyzing the resulting three-dimensional information. In this way, they ensured that what the program counted as micronuclei were, in fact, micronuclei. They then used this program to look at micronuclei in mouse neurons and tested the effects of neuroinflammation on micronucleus numbers.

A link has been reported between inflammation and micronuclei in cancer cells. We decided to test whether neuroinflammation in the brain might affect the numbers of micronuclei in neurons."

Dr. Fuminori Tsuruta, corresponding author of the study

To do this, the researchers first introduced inflammatory factors into mouse neurons grown in culture, but they found no changes in micronuclei number using their CAMDi program. However, when they gave mice injections of lipopolysaccharides, which caused inflammatory cells in the hippocampal region to become activated, there was an increase in micronuclei in the hippocampal neurons.

"These results were surprising," explains Dr. Tsuruta. "They suggest that the formation of micronuclei in neurons is induced by inflammatory responses from nearby cells."

Given that micronuclei are markers of a range of pathologies, the development of this new computer program could be very important for pathological diagnoses and the tracking of treatment responses. Research into micronuclei, to better understand their formation and roles in disease, will also be enhanced by the use of CAMDi.

Source:
Journal reference:

Yano, S., et al. (2021) A MATLAB-based program for three-dimensional quantitative analysis of micronuclei reveals that neuroinflammation induces micronuclei formation in the brain. Scientific Reports. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-97640-6.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Unraveling the complexities of muscle repair in diabetes: A call for targeted research and therapies