AnnoSpat annotates cell types and quantifies cellular arrangements from spatial proteomics
Mongia A, Zohora FT, Burget NG, Zhou Y, Saunders DC, Wang YJ, Brissova M, Powers AC, Kaestner KH, Vahedi G, Naji A, Schwartz GW, Faryabi RB

Nature Communications


Cellular composition and anatomical organization influence normal and aberrant organ functions. Emerging spatial single-cell proteomic assays such as Image Mass Cytometry (IMC) and Co-Detection by Indexing (CODEX) have facilitated the study of cellular composition and organization by enabling high-throughput measurement of cells and their localization directly in intact tissues. However, annotation of cell types and quantification of their relative localization in tissues remain challenging. To address these unmet needs for atlas-scale datasets like Human Pancreas Analysis Program (HPAP), we develop AnnoSpat (Annotator and Spatial Pattern Finder) that uses neural network and point process algorithms to automatically identify cell types and quantify cell-cell proximity relationships. Our study of data from IMC and CODEX shows the higher performance of AnnoSpat in rapid and accurate annotation of cell types compared to alternative approaches. Moreover, the application of AnnoSpat to type 1 diabetic, non-diabetic autoantibody-positive, and non-diabetic organ donor cohorts recapitulates known islet pathobiology and shows differential dynamics of pancreatic polypeptide (PP) cell abundance and CD8+ T cells infiltration in islets during type 1 diabetes progression.