A major factor affecting the function and differentiation state of cells is their proliferation. Flow cytometry enables tracking the division of cells, but the cellular markers that can be measured is limited. In this paper published in Nature Biotechnology, Good et al. show that the CFSE dye dilution assay can be adapted for mass cytometry. With this, they use mass cytometry to track 23 markers and proliferation, examining the phenotype of T cells as they expand. They use this knowledge to build a map of these cell states, and based on this identify a signaling pathway that can be manipulated to differentiate cells towards a T stem cell memory-like phenotype.
Image credit: Otavio B. Good