We introduce machine learning (ML) to perform classifcation and quantitation of images of nuclei from human blood neutrophils. Here we assessed the use of convolutional neural networks (CNNs) using free, open source software to accurately quantitate neutrophil NETosis, a recently discovered process involved in multiple human diseases. CNNs achieved >94% in performance accuracy in diferentiating NETotic from non-NETotic cells and vastly facilitated dose-response analysis and screening of the NETotic response in neutrophils from patients. Using only features learned from nuclear morphology, CNNs can distinguish between NETosis and necrosis and between distinct NETosis signaling pathways, making them a precise tool for NETosis detection. Furthermore, by using CNNs and tools to determine object dispersion, we uncovered diferences in NETotic nuclei clustering between major NETosis pathways that is useful in understanding NETosis signaling events. Our study also shows that neutrophils from patients with sickle cell disease were unresponsive to one of two major NETosis pathways. Thus, we demonstrate the design, performance, and implementation of ML tools for rapid quantitative and qualitative cell analysis in basic science.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Published in Scientific Reports, Volume 9, 2019.
©Laila Elsherif, Noah Sciaky, Carrington A. Metts, Md. Modasshir, Ioannis Rekleitis, Christine A. Burris, Joshua A. Walker, Nadeem Ramadan, Tina M. Leisner, Stephen P. Holly, Martis W. Cowles, Kenneth I. Ataga, Joshua N. Cooper & Leslie V. Parise 2019.
Elsherif, L., Sciaky, N., Metts, C., Modasshir, M., Rekleitis, I., & Burris, C. et al. (2019). Machine Learning to Quantitate Neutrophil NETosis. Scientific Reports, 9.