Chunhe Yang, Hongwu Du


The hierarchical clustering method has been used for exploration of gene expression and proteomic profiles; however, little research into its application in the examination of expression of multiple cytokine/chemokine responses to stimuli has been reported. Thus, little progress has been made on how phytohemagglutinin (PHA) affects cytokine expression profiling on a large scale in the human hematological system. To investigate the characteristic expression pattern under PHA stimulation, Luminex, a multiplex bead-based suspension array, was performed. The dataset collected from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was analyzed using the hierarchical clustering method. It was revealed that two specific chemokines (CCL3 and CCL4) underwent significantly greater quantitative changes during induction of expression than other tested cytokines/chemokines after PHA stimulation. This result indicates that hierarchical clustering is a useful tool for detecting fine patterns during exploration of biological data, and that it can play an important role in comparative studies.


Key words: hierarchical clustering; cytokine expression; phytohemagglutinin; peripheral blood mononuclear cells; Luminex


Received: July 31, 2015; Revised: September 29, 2015; Accepted: October 6, 2015; Published online: Apil 22, 2016

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