System-wide analysis of hepatotoxicological responses: Tissomics is key


  • Andres Kriete,

    Corresponding author
    1. Icoria Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    2. School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    3. Coriell Institute, Camden, New Jersey
    • Associate Professor for Bioinformation Engineering, Drexel University & Coriell Bioinformatics Initiative, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health System, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
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  • Keith Boyce,

    1. Icoria Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    2. Immune Tolerance Network, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  • Bradley Love

    1. Invitrogen Corp., Carlsbad, California
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Combining diverse data streams across different levels of biological observation, such as molecular, cellular, and clinical chemistry responses, support a system-wide diagnostic approach. Recent progress in slide-based cytometry contributes to the development of tissomics, a high-throughput and high-content phenotyping methodology that provides data-rich profiles of cellular heterogeneity in tissues enabling correlative statistical treatments over multiple scales of biological hierarchies.


Phenotypical data are covariants that can be used as biomarkers to identify relevant candidate genes by associating initiating molecular events with phenotypical changes and adverse outcomes. We introduce a procedure of combined statistical and analytical tools to identify and visualize such associations for nonpooled entities. The new utility is applied to a time-controlled, low-dose toxicological study including a control and two xenobiotic compounds.


An integrated analysis identified specific molecular and phenotypical biomarkers, which support the classification of animals in the absence of any visual indicators from pathology readings.


The introduction of controlled perturbations to tissues provides a prototypical setting to develop a sensitive, systems-based analysis methodology suitable for a broader range of biomedical applications. © 2006 International Society for Analytical Cytology