Making friends in out-of-the-way places: How cells of the immune system get together and how they conduct their business as revealed by intravital imaging

Ronald N. Germain, Marc Bajénoff, Flora Castellino, Marcello Chieppa, Jackson G. Egen, Alex Y C Huang, Masaru Ishii, Lily Y. Koo, Hai Qi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A central characteristic of the immune system is the constantly changing location of most of its constituent cells. Lymphoid and myeloid cells circulate in the blood, and subsets of these cells enter, move, and interact within, then leave organized lymphoid tissues. When inflammation is present, various hematopoietic cells also exit the vasculature and migrate within non-lymphoid tissues, where they carry out effector functions that support host defense or result in autoimmune pathology. Effective innate and adaptive immune responses involve not only the action of these individual cells but also productive communication among them, often requiring direct membrane contact between rare antigen-specific or antigen-bearing cells. Here, we describe our ongoing studies using two-photon intravital microscopy to probe the in situ behavior of the cells of the immune system and their interactions with non-hematopoietic stromal elements. We emphasize the importance of non-random cell migration within lymphoid tissues and detail newly established mechanisms of traffic control that operate at multiple organizational scales to facilitate critical cell contacts. We also describe how the methods we have developed for imaging within lymphoid sites are being applied to other tissues and organs, revealing dynamic details of host-pathogen interactions previously inaccessible to direct observation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-181
Number of pages19
JournalImmunological Reviews
Volume221
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008

Keywords

  • B cells
  • Cell trafficking
  • Dendritic cells
  • In vivo imaging
  • Stromal cells
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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