Automated visual-tracking of cell populations in vitro using time-lapse phase contrast microscopy enables quantitative, systematic, and high-throughput measurements of cell behaviors. These measurements include the spatiotemporal quantification of cell migration, mitosis, apoptosis, and the reconstruction of cell lineages. The combination of low signal-to-noise ratio of phase contrast microscopy images, high and varying densities of the cell cultures, topological complexities of cell shapes, and wide range of cell behaviors poses many challenges to existing tracking techniques. This paper presents a fully automated multi-target tracking system that can efficiently cope with these challenges while simultaneously tracking and analyzing thousands of cells observed using time-lapse phase contrast microscopy. The system combines bottom-up and top-down image analysis by integrating multiple collaborative modules, which exploit a fast geometric active contour tracker in conjunction with adaptive interacting multiple models (IMM) motion filtering and spatiotemporal trajectory optimization. The system, which was tested using a variety of cell populations, achieved tracking accuracy in the range of 86.9-92.5%.
Image patch classification is an important task in many different medical imaging applications. In this work, we have designed a customized Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) with shallow convolution layer to classify lung image patches with interstitial lung disease (ILD). While many feature descriptors have been proposed over the past years, they can be quite complicated and domain-specific. Our customized CNN framework can, on the other hand, automatically and efficiently learn the intrinsic image features from lung image patches that are most suitable for the classification purpose. The same architecture can be generalized to perform other medical image or texture classification tasks.
Inflammation is an adaptive response of the immune system to noxious insults to maintain homeostasis and restore functionality. The retina is considered an immune-privileged tissue as a result of its unique anatomic and physiologic properties. During aging, the retina suffers from a low-grade chronic oxidative insult, which sustains for decades and increases in level with advancing age. As a result, the retinal innate-immune system, particularly microglia and the complement system, undergoes low levels of activation (parainflammation). In many cases, this parainflammatory response can maintain homeostasis in the healthy aging eye. However, in patients with age-related macular degeneration, this parainflammatory response becomes dysregulated and contributes to macular damage. Factors contributing to the dysregulation of age-related retinal parainflammation include genetic predisposition, environmental risk factors, and old age. Dysregulated parainflammation (chronic inflammation) in age-related macular degeneration damages the blood retina barrier, resulting in the breach of retinal-immune privilege, leading to the development of retinal lesions. This review discusses the basic principles of retinal innate-immune responses to endogenous chronic insults in normal aging and in age-related macular degeneration and explores the difference between beneficial parainflammation and the detrimental chronic inflammation in the context of age-related macular degeneration.
SummaryFundus autofluorescence (AF) imaging by confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy has been widely used by ophthalmologists in the diagnosis/monitoring of various retinal disorders. It is believed that fundus AF is derived from lipofuscin in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells; however, direct clinicopathological correlation has not been possible in humans. We examined fundus AF by confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and confocal microscopy in normal C57BL/6 mice of different ages.
The retina contains two distinct populations of monocyte-derived cells: perivascular cells (macrophages) and parenchymal cells (microglia), important in homeostasis, neuroinflammation, degeneration, and injury. The turnover of these cells in the retina and their repopulation in normal physiological conditions have not been clarified. Bone marrow (BM) cells from EGFP-transgenic mice were adoptively transferred into lethally irradiated normal adult C57BL/6 mice. Eight, 14, and 26 weeks later mice were sacrificed and retinal flatmounts were prepared. Retinal microglia were identified by F4/80, CD45, and Iba-1 immunostaining. BrdU was injected into normal mice for 3-14 days and cell proliferation was examined by confocal microscopy of retinal flatmounts. Few (6.15 +/- 2.02 cells/retina) BrdU(+) cells were detected and of these some coexpressed CD11b (1.67 +/- 0.62 cells/retina) or F4/80 (0.57 +/- 0.30 cells/retina). BM-derived EGFP(+) cells were detected by 8-weeks post-transplantation. By 6 months, all retinal myeloid cells were EGFP(+). Consecutively, donor BM-EGFP(+) cells were demonstrated within the: (1) peripheral and juxtapapillary retina, (2) ganglion cell layer, (3) inner and outer plexiform layers, and (4) photoreceptor layer. EGFP(+) cells within the ganglion layer were amoeboid in shape and F4/80(high)CD45(high)Iba-1(high), whereas cells in the inner and outer plexiform layers were ramified and F4/80(low) CD45(low)Iba-1(low). Perivascular macrophages expressed less F4/80, CD45, and Iba-1 compared with parenchymal microglia. Our results suggest that BM-derived monocyte precursor cells are able to migrate across the BRB and replace retinal microglia/macrophages. The complete replacement of retinal microglia/macrophages takes about 6 months. In situ proliferation was predominantly of nonhemopoetic retinal cells.
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