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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2010 Feb;298(2):L127-30. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00313.2009. Epub 2009 Nov 13.

Publishing flow cytometry data.

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Center for Lung Biology, Departments of Pharmacology and Internal Medicine, University of South Alabama College of Medicine, Mobile, Alabama, USA.


Cellular measurements by flow cytometric analysis constitute an important step toward understanding individual attributes within a population of cells. Assessing individual cells within a population by protein expression using fluorescently labeled antibodies and other fluorescent probes can identify cellular patterns. The technology for accurately identifying subtle changes in protein expression within a population of cells using a vast array of technology has resulted in controversy and questions regarding reproducibility, which can be explained at least in part by the absence of standard methods to facilitate comparison of flow cytometric data. The complexity of technological advancements and the need for improvements in biological resolution results in the generation of complex data that demands the use of minimum standards for their publication. Herein we present a summarized view for the inclusion of consistent flow cytometric experimental information as supplemental data. Four major points, experimental and sample information, data acquisition, analysis, and presentation are emphasized. Together, these guidelines will facilitate the review and publication of flow cytometry data that provide an accurate foundation for ongoing studies with this evolving technology.

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