Journal of Theoretical Medicine
Volume 4 (2002), Issue 1, Pages 67-74

Automatic Recognition of Muscle-Invasive T-Lymphocytes Expressing Dipeptidyl-Peptidase IV (CD26) and Analysis of the Associated Cell Surface Phenotypes

1Institute of Medical Neurobiology, Molecular Pattern Recognition Research Group, Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg, ZENIT-Building, Leipziger Str. 44, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany
2MELTEC Ltd., ZENIT-Building, Leipziger Str. 44, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany
3Neuroinformatics Group, University of Bielefeld, 33619 Bielefeld, Germany

Received 1 August 2000; Accepted 23 April 2001

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A neural cell detection system (NCDS) for the automatic quantitation of fluorescent lymphocytes in tissue sections was used to analyze CD26 expression in muscle-invasive T-cells. CD26 is a cell surface dipeptidyl-peptidase IV (DPP IV) involved in co-stimulatory activation of T-cells and also in adhesive events. The NCDS system acquires visual knowledge from a set of training cell image patches selected by a user. The trained system evaluates an image in 2 min calculating (i) the number, (ii) the positions and (iii) the phenotypes of the fluorescent cells. In the present study we have used the NCDS to identity DPP IV (CD26) expressing invasive lymphocytes in sarcoid myopathy and to analyze the associated cell surface phenotypes. We find highly unusual phenotypes characterized by differential combination of seven cell surface receptors usually involved in co-stimulatory events in T-lymphocytes. The data support a differential adhesive rather than a co-stimulatory role of CD26 in muscle-invasive cells. The adaptability of the NCDS algorithm to diverse types of cells should enable us to approach any invasion process, including invasion of malignant cells.