Ex vivo Imaging of T Cells in Murine Lymph Node Slices with Widefield and Confocal Microscopes
MyJove Corporation -- Journal of Visualized Experiments
DOI 10.3791/3054
Keyword(s)
  1. Immunology
  2. Issue 53
  3. mouse
  4. lymph node
  5. organotypic slices
  6. T cell
  7. migration
  8. fluorescence
  9. microscopy
  10. confocal
Abstract(s)

Naïve T cells continuously traffic to secondary lymphoid organs, including peripheral lymph nodes, to detect rare expressed antigens. The migration of T cells into lymph nodes is a complex process which involves both cellular and chemical factors including chemokines. Recently, the use of two-photon microscopy has permitted to track T cells in intact lymph nodes and to derive some quantitative information on their behavior and their interactions with other cells. While there are obvious advantages to an in vivo system, this approach requires a complex and expensive instrumentation and provides limited access to the tissue. To analyze the behavior of T cells within murine lymph nodes, we have developed a slice assay 1, originally set up by neurobiologists and transposed recently to murine thymus 2. In this technique, fluorescently labeled T cells are plated on top of an acutely prepared lymph node slice. In this video-article, the localization and migration of T cells into the tissue are analyzed in real-time with a widefield and a confocal microscope. The technique which complements in vivo two-photon microscopy offers an effective approach to image T cells in their natural environment and to elucidate mechanisms underlying T cell migration.