Cytokines and other secreted soluble proteins are routinely assayed as fluorescence intensities on the Luminex (Luminex, Austin, TX) platform. As with any immunoassay, a portion of the measured Ab binding can be nonspecific. Use of spiked-in microbead controls (e.g., AssayChex Process, Control Panel; Radix Biosolutions, Georgetown, TX) can determine the level of nonspecific binding on a per specimen basis. A statistical approach for correction of this assay's nonspecific binding artifact was first described in earlier work. The current paper describes a novel utility written in the R language (https://www.r-project.org), that refines correction for nonspecific binding in three important ways: 1) via local polynomial regression, the utility allows for curvature in relationships between soluble protein median fluorescence intensities and nonspecific binding median fluorescence intensities; 2) to stabilize correction, the fit of the nonlinear regression function is obtained via repeated cross-validation; and 3) the utility addresses possible bias due to technical error in measured nonspecific binding. The utility first logarithm transforms and then removes plate/batch/lot artifacts from median fluorescence intensities prior to correction for nonspecific binding, even when plates/batches/lots are unbalanced with respect to experimental factors of interest. Continuous (e.g., age) and categorical (e.g., diagnosis) covariates are accommodated in plate/batch/lot artifact correction. We present application of the utility to a panel of 62 cytokines in a sample of human patients diagnosed with systemic sclerosis and to an experiment that examined multiple lots of a human 51-cytokine panel. The R script for our new utility is publicly available for download from the web.
View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.2000017
View details for PubMedID 32376648