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Methods Enzymol. 2008;443:155-76. doi: 10.1016/S0076-6879(08)02009-0.

Assays of transendothelial migration in vitro.

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Department of Pathology, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


The inflammatory response is critical for our ability to heal wounds and fight off foreign microorganisms. Uncontrolled inflammation is also at the root of most pathologic conditions. Recruitment of leukocytes to the site of inflammation plays a defining role in the inflammatory response, and migration of leukocytes across endothelium is arguably the point of no return of the inflammatory response. Assays to study the transmigration of leukocytes have and will continue to shed light on the regulation of this vital response. Assays of transendothelial migration in vitro allow the controlled observation of this phenomenon, as well as experiments to study its regulation. In this chapter, we describe in vitro assays of transendothelial migration that have been used successfully in the authors' laboratories for decades and have proven to be reproducible, reliable, and predictive of the behavior of leukocytes and endothelial cells in models of inflammation in vivo.

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