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J Biomed Opt. 2013 Mar;18(3):036005. doi: 10.1117/1.JBO.18.3.036005.

In vivo high spatiotemporal resolution visualization of circulating T lymphocytes in high endothelial venules of lymph nodes.

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  • 1Graduate School of Nanoscience and Technology-WCU, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology-KAIST, 291 Deahak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea.


Lymph nodes (LN) are major checkpoints for circulating T lymphocytes to recognize foreign antigens collected from peripheral tissue. High endothelial venule (HEV) in LN facilitates the effective transmigration of circulating T lymphocytes from the blood into LN. There have been many efforts to visualize T lymphocytes trafficking across HEV to understand the underlying mechanism. However, due to insufficient spatiotemporal resolution and the lack of an in vivo labeling method, clear visualization of dynamic behaviors of rapidly flowing T lymphocytes in HEV and their transmigration have been difficult. In this work, we adapted a custom-designed video-rate laser scanning confocal microscopy system to track individual flowing T lymphocytes in the HEV in real time in vivo. We demonstrate that the HEVs in LN can be clearly identified in vivo with its distinctive cuboidal morphology of endothelial cells fluorescently labeled by intravenously injected anti-CD31 antibody conjugated with Alexa fluorophore. By visualizing the adaptively transferred T lymphocytes, we successfully analyzed dynamic flowing behaviors of T lymphocytes and their transendothelial migration while interacting with the endothelial cells in HEV.

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