[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: T lymphocytes are highly motile cells that decelerate upon antigen recognition. These cells can either completely stop or maintain a low level of motility, forming contacts referred to as synapses or kinapses, respectively. Whether similar or distinct molecular mechanisms regulate T-cell deceleration during synapses or kinapses is unclear. Here, we used microfabricated channels and intravital imaging to observe and manipulate T-cell kinapses and synapses. We report that high-affinity antigen induced a pronounced deceleration selectively dependent on Ca(2+) signals and actin-related protein 2/3 complex (Arp2/3) activity. In contrast, low-affinity antigens induced a switch of migration mode that promotes T-cell exploratory behavior, characterized by partial deceleration and frequent direction changes. This switch depended on T-cell receptor binding but was largely independent of downstream signaling. We propose that distinct mechanisms of T-cell deceleration can be triggered during antigenic recognition to favor local exploration and signal integration upon suboptimal stimulus and complete arrest on the best antigen-presenting cells.
Preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Contraction is a critical phase of immunity whereby the vast majority of effector T cells die by apoptosis, sparing a population of long-lived memory cells. Where, when, and why contraction occurs has been difficult to address directly due in large part to the rapid clearance of apoptotic T cells in vivo. To circumvent this issue, we introduced a genetically encoded reporter for caspase-3 activity into naive T cells to identify cells entering the contraction phase. Using two-photon imaging, we found that caspase-3 activity in T cells was maximal at the peak of the response and was associated with loss of motility followed minutes later by cell death. We demonstrated that contraction is a widespread process occurring uniformly in all organs tested and targeting phenotypically diverse T cells. Importantly, we identified a critical window of time during which antigen encounters act to antagonize T cell apoptosis, supporting a causal link between antigen clearance and T cell contraction. Our results offer insight into a poorly explored phase of immunity and provide a versatile methodology to study apoptosis during the development or function of a variety of immune cells in vivo.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a simple method for rapid and automatic characterization of lymphocyte migration from time-lapse fluorescence microscopy data. Time-lapse imaging of natural killer (NK) cells in vitro and in situ, both showed that individual cells transiently alter their migration behavior. Typically, NK cells showed periods of high motility, interrupted by transient periods of slow migration or almost complete arrests. Analysis of in vitro data showed that these periods frequently coincided with contacts with target cells, sometimes leading to target cell lysis. However, NK cells were also commonly observed to stop independently of contact with other cells. In order to objectively characterize the migration of NK cells, we implemented a simple method to discriminate when NK cells stop or have low motilities, have periods of directed migration or undergo random movement. This was achieved using a sliding window approach and evaluating the mean squared displacement (MSD) to assess the migration coefficient and MSD curvature along trajectories from individual NK cells over time. The method presented here can be used to quickly and quantitatively assess the dynamics of individual cells as well as heterogeneity within ensembles. Furthermore, it may also be used as a tool to automatically detect transient stops due to the formation of immune synapses, cell division or cell death. We show that this could be particularly useful for analysis of in situ time-lapse fluorescence imaging data where most cells, as well as the extracellular matrix, are usually unlabelled and thus invisible.
No preview · Article · Jun 2011 · Integrative Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Direct presentation of foreign MHC molecules expressed by donor-derived dendritic cells (DCs) has generally been considered the dominant pathway of allorecognition in acute transplant rejection. However, recent studies implicate preferential activation of the indirect pathway by host DCs. The respective importance of each pathway and the mechanisms that determine their relative contributions remain to be clearly established. In this study, using two-photon microscopy, we visualized host NK cell interactions with syngeneic and allogeneic DCs within intact lymph nodes of mice. Upon contact with allogeneic DCs, NK cells formed prolonged interactions that led directly to target cell lysis. This rapid elimination limited the ability of allogeneic DCs to stimulate primary and recall T cell responses. To discriminate whether donor or host DCs are principally involved in presenting Ag derived from allografts, we used CD11c-diphtheria toxoid receptor mice to conditionally ablate CD11c(+) DCs and to show that direct presentation by donor DCs is alone insufficient to elicit acute allograft rejection. We thus propose that rapid elimination of allogeneic DCs limits direct Ag presentation and thereby favors the indirect pathway of alloreactivity.
Preview · Article · Feb 2010 · The Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: T-cell receptor transgenic (TCR-tg) mouse models with direct CD4 alloreactivity will help elucidate mechanisms of transplant rejection and tolerance in vivo. Although such models exist, they are limited by unusual strain combinations or are based on model antigens.
A TCR-tg mouse with direct CD4 specificity in the widely used BALB/c donor --> C57BL/6 host strain combination was created. This TCR-tg mouse, named 4C, was selected for reactivity against BALB/c dendritic cells in order to model early priming events after transplantation. The response of 4C T cells to skin and heart transplants were characterized.
The alloantigen is restricted by I-A and appears to be widely distributed in mouse tissues. 4C T cells are able to acutely reject skin but not heart allografts. Paradoxically, heart grafts elicited a stronger proliferation and effector function of TCR-tg T cells than skin grafts. 4C T cells caused cardiac allograft vasculopathy in the absence of other T cells and alloantibodies, suggesting a role for the direct pathway in chronic rejection. Augmentation of priming with an infusion of donor-derived dendritic cells resulted in acute heart allograft rejection by 4C T cells, demonstrating that the level of priming can play a role in determining acute versus chronic rejection by the CD4 direct pathway.
Rejection of a graft by the direct CD4 pathway is determined by graft susceptibility to rejection, as well as the degree of T-cell priming caused by the graft. Grafts that are not acutely rejected can develop transplant vasculopathy mediated by the direct CD4 T cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As one of the most stringent and least technically challenging models, skin transplantation is a standard method to assay host T cell responses to MHC-disparate donor antigens. The aim of this video-article is to provide the viewer with a step-by-step visual demonstration of skin transplantation using the mouse model. The protocol is divided into 5 main components: 1) harvesting donor skin; 2) preparing recipient for transplant; 3) skin transplant; 4) bandage removal and monitoring graft rejection; 5) helpful hints. Once proficient, the procedure itself should take <10 min to perform.
Preview · Article · Feb 2008 · Journal of Visualized Experiments
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: T cell activation by APC requires cytosolic Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](i)) elevation. Using two-photon microscopy, we visualized Ca(2+) signaling and motility of murine CD4(+) T cells within lymph node (LN) explants under control, inflammatory, and immunizing conditions. Without Ag under basal noninflammatory conditions, T cells showed infrequent Ca(2+) spikes associated with sustained slowing. Inflammation reduced velocities and Ca(2+) spiking in the absence of specific Ag. During early Ag encounter, most T cells engaged Ag-presenting dendritic cells in clusters, and showed increased Ca(2+) spike frequency and elevated basal [Ca(2+)](i). These Ca(2+) signals persisted for hours, irrespective of whether T cells were in contact with visualized dendritic cells. We propose that sustained increases in basal [Ca(2+)](i) and spiking frequency constitute a Ca(2+) signaling modality that, integrated over hours, distinguishes immunogenic from basal state in the native lymphoid environment.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2007 · The Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Natural killer (NK) cells are known to reject MHC-mismatched targets within blood organs, yet their role in peripheral lymphoid tissue remains unresolved. Here we address the capacity of NK cells to migrate within lymph nodes (LN) using two-photon microscopy to characterize cell velocities and interaction dynamics within the native lymphoid-tissue environment. Adoptively transferred unmanipulated NK cells were highly motile (6-7 microm/min) and capable of forming transient contacts with both syngeneic and allogeneic B cells. Stable conjugate interactions (lasting >5 min) formed preferentially with allogeneic cells, resulting in diminished motility and subsequent elimination of the target cell. In marked contrast to unmanipulated cells, NK cells purified by CD49b-positive selection exhibited only limited motility (2-3 microm/min). This velocity impairment arose largely because CD49b cross-linking enhanced NK cell adhesion to collagen fibers within the node. Moreover, CD49b cross-linking prevented NK cells from reconstituting effector cytolytic function in vivo, inhibited target cell lysis in vitro, and augmented IFN-gamma responses to IL-2 activation in vitro. Taken together our data demonstrate that NK cells are a functionally important component of the LN microenvironment, and that cell motility and effector function are strongly modulated via CD49b manipulation.
Preview · Article · Jul 2007 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accumulating evidence that dendritic cells (DC) are important regulators of peripheral immune tolerance has led to the concept that donor-derived DC may be useful for inducing donor-specific transplantation tolerance. Although in vitro studies in this field have been encouraging, in vivo results have been inconsistent. Recent evidence has suggested a critical role of lymphoid organs in tolerance induction. In this study, we use a novel gene transduction technique to show that engineered expression of CCR7 on immature DC can markedly increase DC homing to lymphoid organs, leading to increased interaction with Ag-specific T cells. Moreover, we show that a single infusion of DC coexpressing CCR7 and the immunomodulatory molecule viral IL-10 (vIL-10) markedly prolongs cardiac allograft survival (mean survival time >100 days); importantly, DC expressing either vIL-10 alone or CCR7 alone was not effective. These results demonstrate an important paradigm for immune modulation using DC.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2006 · The Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction: T cell receptor transgenic (TCR-tg) mice have been critical to the study of T cell responses in vivo. The alloimmune CD8+ TCR-tg, 2C, has revealed important insights into the responses of the CD8+ T cell in transplant rejection. We thus developed a CD4+ TCR-tg mouse with strain specificity identical to the 2C TCR-tg to study the CD4+ T cell in allograft rejection.Methods: Balb/c dendritic cells were used to immunize a B6 recipient from which alloreactive CD4+ T cells were isolated. The alpha and beta chains of the TCR were then reverse transcribed from mRNA and cloned into expression vectors behind the human CD2 and the murine CD4 promoters, respectively. These vectors were injected together into embryos and offspring were screened for the expression of the transgenic TCR.Results: A founder (“4C”) expressing the transgenic TCR on > 99% of peripheral CD4+ T cells was identified. Expression was shown by RT-PCR and flow cytometry. TCR function was demonstrated by T cell proliferation in response to Balb/c antigen both in vitro and in vivo following adoptive transfer. Antibody blockade experiments show the TCR reacts to antigen in the context of the MHC class II molecule I-Ad. We find the 4C TCR-tg to reject Balb/c skin grafts in 10–12 days.Conclusions: We have developed a CD4+ TCR-tg mouse for the study of alloimmunity. Adoptive transfer experiments combining the 2C and 4C T cells will provide a novel means of observing the cooperativity of these T cells subsets during transplant rejection and tolerance.
No preview · Article · Sep 2004 · Journal of the American College of Surgeons