Sensitivity of flow cytometric data to variations in cell cycle parameters

P. Ubezio, A. Rossotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Abstract We investigated to what extent flow cytometric DNA histograms are informative of cell cycle parameters. We created a computer program to simulate cell cycle progression in a generic and flexible way. Various scenarios, characterized by different models and distributions of cell cycle phase transit times, have been analysed in order to obtain the percentages of cells in the different cell cycle phases during exponential growth and their time course after mitotic block. Cell percentages during exponential growth were insensitive to intercell variability in phase transit times and thus can be employed to estimate the relative mean phase transit times, even in the presence of non‐cycling cells. However, this information is ambiguous if re‐entry of such cells into the cycling status is permitted. The stathmokinetic outline gives the mean phase transit times, but also provides information about the spread, but not the form, of the phase transit time distributions, being particularly sensitive to the spread of G1 phase duration. The stathmokinetic outline also helps distinguish between scenarios considering only cycling cells, those forecasting a fraction of definitively non‐cycling cells and those admitting a Go status with first‐order output kinetics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-517
Number of pages11
JournalCell Proliferation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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