Hierarchical Clustering Analyses of Plasma Proteins in Subjects With Cardiovascular Risk Factors Identify Informative Subsets Based on Differential Levels of Angiogenic and Inflammatory Biomarkers.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Agglomerative hierarchical clustering analysis (HCA) is a commonly used unsupervised machine learning approach for identifying informative natural clusters of observations. HCA is performed by calculating a pairwise dissimilarity matrix and then clustering similar observations until all observations are grouped within a cluster. Verifying the empirical clusters produced by HCA is complex and not well studied in biomedical applications. Here, we demonstrate the comparability of a novel HCA technique with one that was used in previous biomedical applications while applying both techniques to plasma angiogenic (FGF, FLT, PIGF, Tie-2, VEGF, VEGF-D) and inflammatory (MMP1, MMP3, MMP9, IL8, TNFα) protein data to identify informative subsets of individuals. Study subjects were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment due to cerebrovascular disease (MCI-CVD). Through comparison of the two HCA techniques, we were able to identify subsets of individuals, based on differences in VEGF (p < 0.001), MMP1 (p < 0.001), and IL8 (p < 0.001) levels. These profiles provide novel insights into angiogenic and inflammatory pathologies that may contribute to VCID.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Winder, Z; Sudduth, TL; Fardo, D; Cheng, Q; Goldstein, LB; Nelson, PT; Schmitt, FA; Jicha, GA; Wilcock, DM

Published Date

  • 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 /

Start / End Page

  • 84 -

PubMed ID

  • 32116527

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7016016

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1662-4548

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3389/fnins.2020.00084


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Switzerland