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Comparison of different labelling index formulae used on bromodeoxyuridine-flow cytometry data

  • Maria C Johansson
  • Roland Johansson
  • Bo Baldetorp
  • Stina Oredsson
Publishing year: 1998
Language: English
Pages: 233-240
Publication/Series: Cytometry
Volume: 32
Issue: 3
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Abstract english

The essence of the bromodeoxyuridine (BrdUrd)-flow cytometry (FCM) technique is that cells are labelled with the thymidine analogue BrdUrd. They are then allowed to progress through the cell cycle in a BrdUrd-free environment during the postlabelling time period. At a postlabelling time shorter than the length of the S phase (Ts), cells are fixed and prepared for FCM-mediated analysis of BrdUrd and DNA contents. From FCM-derived data, cell cycle kinetic parameters such as labelling index (LI), Ts, and potential doubling time (Tpot) can be calculated. Tpot is believed to be important in the evaluation of tumor aggressiveness and therapy response. Since LI is most commonly used together with Ts to calculate Tpot, it is important that both LI and Ts are independent of the time when cells are sampled. Several formulae to calculate LI and Ts have been presented. In the present paper, we deal with various formulae to calculate LI. These formulae differ in how they take into account unlabelled and BrdUrd-labelled cells in various fractions of the cell cycle. We present a new formula, which takes into consideration cells in the different fractions and thus makes LI theoretically independent of postlabelling time. Our results show that different LI values are obtained when different formulae are used to calculate LI. In addition, we show that the BrdUrd labelling period should be kept as short as possible.


  • Cancer and Oncology
  • labelling index
  • bromodeoxyuridine
  • flow cytometry
  • cell kinetics


  • ISSN: 0196-4763
Stina Oredsson
E-mail: stina [dot] oredsson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se


Functional zoology

+46 46 222 94 97



Principal investigator

LUCC - Lund University Cancer Centre

Research group

Animal Physiology


Cell proliferation

Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD Students, main supervisor

Wendy Soria Sotillo

PhD Students, assistant supervisor

Atena Malakpour Permlid