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Immunity. 2004 Sep;21(3):331-9.

Illuminating the landscape of in vivo immunity: insights from dynamic in situ imaging of secondary lymphoid tissues.

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Lymphocyte Biology Section, Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


A central feature of the immune system is the migratory behavior of its cellular components. Thus, fully understanding the generation and maintenance of immune responses must include consideration of how hematopoietic cells home to, interact within, and exit from secondary lymphoid organs as well as peripheral tissues. Recent advances in in situ imaging techniques now permit direct observation of these events in their physiologic settings with high spatiotemporal resolution. This review summarizes progress in this area of investigation from a lymphocentric perspective. We highlight controversies, point out key unanswered questions, and briefly outline what we believe are some of the near-term directions that in situ microscopic analysis of the immune system will take.

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