Detecting calcium flux in T cells using a Bayesian model
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Upon antigen recognition, T cells are activated to carry out its effector functions. A hallmark of T cell activation is the dramatic increase of the intracellular calcium concentration (calcium influx). Indo-1 is a calcium indicator dye widely used to detect T cell activation events in in vitro assays. The use of Indo-1 to detect T cell activation events in live tissues remains a challenge, due to the high noise to signal ratio data generated. Here, we developed a Bayesian probabilistic model to identify T cell activation events from noisy Indo-1 data. The model was able to detect T cell activation events accurately from simulated data, as well as real biological data in which the time of T cell activation events are known. We then used the model to detect OTII T cells that are activated by dendritic cells in thymic medulla in Rip-OVAhi transgenic mouse. We found that dendritic cells contribute 60% of all T cell activations in the mouse model.