Deep learning-based image analysis reveals significant differences in the number and distribution of mucosal CD3 and γδ T cells between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
AuthorRøyset, Elin Synnøve; Pettersen, Henrik Sahlin; Xu, Weili; Larbi, Anis; Sandvik, Arne Kristian; Steigen, Sonja Eriksson; Catalan-Serra, Ignacio; Bakke, Ingunn
Colon mucosae of ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) display differences in the number and distribution of immune cells that are difficult to assess by eye. Deep learning-based analysis on whole slide images (WSIs) allows extraction of complex quantitative data that can be used to uncover different inflammatory patterns. We aimed to explore the distribution of CD3 and γδ T cells in colon mucosal compartments in histologically inactive and active inflammatory bowel disease. By deep learning-based segmentation and cell detection on WSIs from a well-defined cohort of CD (n = 37), UC (n = 58), and healthy controls (HCs, n = 33), we quantified CD3 and γδ T cells within and beneath the epithelium and in lamina propria in proximal and distal colon mucosa, defined by the Nancy histological index. We found that inactive CD had significantly fewer intraepithelial γδ T cells than inactive UC, but higher total number of CD3 cells in all compartments than UC and HCs. Disease activity was associated with a massive loss of intraepithelial γδ T cells in UC, but not in CD. The total intraepithelial number of CD3 cells remained constant regardless of disease activity in both CD and UC. There were more mucosal CD3 and γδ T cells in proximal versus distal colon. Oral corticosteroids had an impact on γδ T cell numbers, while age, gender, and disease duration did not. Relative abundance of γδ T cells in mucosa and blood did not correlate. This study reveals significant differences in the total number of CD3 and γδ T cells in particularly the epithelial area between CD, UC, and HCs, and demonstrates useful application of deep segmentation to quantify cells in mucosal compartments.
CitationRøyset Es, Pettersen HS, Xu W, Larbi A, Sandvik AK, Steigen SE, Catalan-Serra I, Bakke I. Deep learning-based image analysis reveals significant differences in the number and distribution of mucosal CD3 and γδ T cells between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. The journal of pathology. Clinical research. 2022
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