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J Vis Exp. 2012 Aug 8;(66):e4032. doi: 10.3791/4032.

Isolation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells and their use in the study of neutrophil transmigration under flow conditions.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Calgary.

Abstract

Neutrophils are the most abundant type of white blood cell. They form an essential part of the innate immune system. During acute inflammation, neutrophils are the first inflammatory cells to migrate to the site of injury. Recruitment of neutrophils to an injury site is a stepwise process that includes first, dilation of blood vessels to increase blood flow; second, microvascular structural changes and escape of plasma proteins from the bloodstream; third, rolling, adhesion and transmigration of the neutrophil across the endothelium; and fourth accumulation of neutrophils at the site of injury. A wide array of in vivo and in vitro methods has evolved to enable the study of these processes. This method focuses on neutrophil transmigration across human endothelial cells. One popular method for examining the molecular processes involved in neutrophil transmigration utilizes human neutrophils interacting with primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). Neutrophil isolation has been described visually elsewhere; thus this article will show the method for isolation of HUVEC. Once isolated and grown to confluence, endothelial cells are activated resulting in the upregulation of adhesion and activation molecules. For example, activation of endothelial cells with cytokines like TNF-╬▒ results in increased E-selectin and IL-8 expression. E-selectin mediates capture and rolling of neutrophils and IL-8 mediates activation and firm adhesion of neutrophils. After adhesion neutrophils transmigrate. Transmigration can occur paracellularly (through endothelial cell junctions) or transcellularly (through the endothelial cell itself). In most cases, these interactions occur under flow conditions found in the vasculature. The parallel plate flow chamber is a widely used system that mimics the hydrodynamic shear stresses found in vivo and enables the study of neutrophil recruitment under flow condition in vitro. Several companies produce parallel plate flow chambers and each have advantages and disadvantages. If fluorescent imaging is needed, glass or an optically similar polymer needs to be used. Endothelial cells do not grow well on glass. Here we present an easy and rapid method for phase-contrast, DIC and fluorescent imaging of neutrophil transmigration using a low volume ibidi channel slide made of a polymer that supports the rapid adhesion and growth of human endothelial cells and has optical qualities that are comparable to glass. In this method, endothelial cells were grown and stimulated in an ibidi ╬╝slide. Neutrophils were introduced under flow conditions and transmigration was assessed. Fluorescent imaging of the junctions enabled real-time determination of the extent of paracellular versus transcellular transmigration.

PMID:
22895248
PMCID:
PMC3486759
DOI:
10.3791/4032
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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