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0 Q&A 240 Views May 20, 2023

T cells localized to the kidneys and vasculature/perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT) play an important role in hypertension and vascular injury. CD4+, CD8+, and γδ T-cell subtypes are programmed to produce interleukin (IL)-17 or interferon-γ (IFNγ), and naïve T cells can be induced to produce IL-17 via the IL-23 receptor. Importantly, both IL-17 and IFNγ have been demonstrated to contribute to hypertension. Therefore, profiling cytokine-producing T-cell subtypes in tissues relevant to hypertension provides useful information regarding immune activation. Here, we describe a protocol to obtain single-cell suspensions from the spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes, mesenteric vessels and PVAT, lungs, and kidneys, and profile IL-17A- and IFNγ-producing T cells using flow cytometry. This protocol is different from cytokine assays such as ELISA or ELISpot in that no prior cell sorting is required, and various T-cell subsets can be identified and individually assessed for cytokine production simultaneously within an individual sample. This is advantageous as sample processing is kept to a minimum, yet many tissues and T-cell subsets can be screened for cytokine production in a single experiment. In brief, single-cell suspensions are activated in vitro with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and ionomycin, and Golgi cytokine export is inhibited with monensin. Cells are then stained for viability and extracellular marker expression. They are then fixed and permeabilized with paraformaldehyde and saponin. Finally, antibodies against IL-17 and IFNγ are incubated with the cell suspensions to report cytokine production. T-cell cytokine production and marker expression is then determined by running samples on a flow cytometer. While other groups have published methods to perform T-cell intracellular cytokine staining for flow cytometry, this protocol is the first to describe a highly reproducible method to activate, phenotype, and determine cytokine production by CD4, CD8, and γδ T cells isolated from PVAT. Additionally, this protocol can be easily modified to investigate other intracellular and extracellular markers of interest, allowing for efficient T-cell phenotyping.

0 Q&A 458 Views Dec 5, 2022

Macrophages are a heterogeneous class of innate immune cells that offer a primary line of defense to the body by phagocytizing pathogens, digesting them, and presenting the antigens to T and B cells to initiate adaptive immunity. Through specialized pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory activities, macrophages also directly contribute to the clearance of infections and the repair of tissue injury. Macrophages are distributed throughout the body and largely carry out tissue-specific functions. In skeletal muscle, macrophages regulate tissue repair and regeneration; however, the characteristics of these macrophages are not yet fully understood, and their involvement in skeletal muscle aging remains to be elucidated. To investigate these functions, it is critical to efficiently isolate macrophages from skeletal muscle with sufficient purity and yield for various downstream analyses. However, methods to prepare enriched skeletal muscle macrophages are scarce. Here, we describe in detail an optimized method to isolate skeletal muscle macrophages from mice. This method has allowed the isolation of CD45+/CD11b+ macrophage-enriched cells from young and old mice, which can be further used for flow cytometric analysis, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), and single-cell RNA sequencing.

0 Q&A 1084 Views Jun 5, 2022

During adaptive immune responses, germinal centers (GC) appear as transient microstructures, in which antigen-specific B and T cells interact with each other. Because only the antigen-activated B and T cells, such as Plasmablasts or follicular T helper (Tfh) cells, are present in GC, the in depth-analysis of GC is of great interest. To identify the cells that reside within GC, the majority of studies use the expression of specific surface molecules for analysis by flow cytometry. To do so, the tissue has to be disrupted for the preparation of single-cell suspensions. Thereby, the local information regarding neighborhoods of B cells and T cells and their potential interaction is lost. To study GC in vivo within their original microenvironment, we established a protocol for the isolation of GC by laser microdissection. To enable the identification of GC for subsequent transcriptomic analysis, the degradation of mRNA was diminished by using frozen tissues and by establishing a rapid staining protocol. This procedure enables histological and transcriptomic analysis of individual GC even within one lymphoid organ.

0 Q&A 2009 Views Feb 20, 2022

When the body mounts an immune response against a foreign pathogen, the adaptive arm of the immune system relies upon clonal expansion of antigen-specific T cell populations to exercise acquired effector and cytotoxic functions to clear it. However, T cell expansion must be modulated to effectively combat the perceived threat without inducing excessive collateral damage to host tissues. Restimulation-induced cell death (RICD) is an apoptotic program triggered in activated T cells when an abundance of antigen and IL-2 are present, imposing a negative feedback mechanism that constrains the growing T cell population. This autoregulatory process can be detected via increases in caspase activation, Annexin V binding, and loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. However, simple changes in T cell viability through flow cytometric analysis can reliably measure RICD sensitivity in response to T-cell receptor (TCR) restimulation. This protocol describes the in vitro polyclonal activation, expansion, and restimulation of human primary T cells isolated from donor peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). This simple procedure allows for accurate quantification of RICD via flow cytometry. We also describe strategies for interrogating the role of specific proteins and pathways that may alter RICD sensitivity. This straightforward protocol provides a quick and dependable tool to track RICD sensitivity in culture over time while probing critical factors that control the magnitude and longevity of an adaptive immune response.

Graphic abstract:

In-vitro simulation of restimulation-induced cell death in activated human T cells.

0 Q&A 2062 Views Feb 5, 2022

Extracellular microvesicles (MVs) are released into the circulation in large numbers during acute systemic inflammation, yet little is known of their intravascular cell/tissue-specific interactions under these conditions. We recently described a dramatic increase in the uptake of intravenously injected MVs by monocytes marginated within the pulmonary vasculature, in a mouse model of low-dose lipopolysaccharide-induced systemic inflammation. To investigate the mechanisms of enhanced MV uptake by monocytes, we developed an in vitro model using in vivo derived monocytes. Although mouse blood is a convenient source, monocyte numbers are too low for in vitro experimentation. In contrast, differentiated bone marrow monocytes are abundant, but they are rapidly mobilized during systemic inflammation, and thus no longer available. Instead, we developed a protocol using marginated monocytes from the pulmonary vasculature as an anatomically relevant and abundant source. Mice are sacrificed by terminal anesthesia, the lungs inflated and perfused via the pulmonary artery. Perfusate cell populations are evaluated by flow cytometry, combined with in vitro generated fluorescently labelled MVs, and incubated in suspension for up to one hour. Washed cells are analyzed by flow cytometry to quantify MV uptake and confocal microscopy to localize MVs within cells (O'Dea et al., 2020). Using this perfusion-based method, substantial numbers of marginated pulmonary vascular monocytes are recovered, allowing multiple in vitro tests to be performed from a single mouse donor. As MV uptake profiles were comparable to those observed in vivo, this method is suitable for physiologically relevant high throughput mechanistic studies on mouse monocytes under in vitro conditions.

Graphic abstract:

Figure 1. Schematic of lung perfusate cell harvest and co-incubation with in vitro generated MVs.
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0 Q&A 2358 Views Oct 5, 2021

Neutrophil-derived microvesicles (NDMVs) are liberated by neutrophils upon cell activation by molecules. Once activated, neutrophils are primarily involved in acute inflammation; however, the microvesicles they produce are largely anti-inflammatory. NDMVs have been shown to protect cartilage during inflammatory arthritis. They exert these effects by inhibiting or affecting the function of target cells, including macrophages. NDMVs have the potential to act as disease-modifying agents, especially for inflammatory diseases. This protocol describes a method using differential centrifugation to separate neutrophils from whole human blood. Subsequently, neutrophils are identified by cytospin and Wright’s staining, and then the NDMVs are isolated using differential centrifugation.

0 Q&A 2566 Views Sep 5, 2021

The skin plays an important role in protecting the body from pathogens and chemicals in the external environment. Upon injury, a healing program is rapidly initiated and involves extensive intercellular communication to restore tissue homeostasis. The deregulation of this crosstalk can lead to abnormal healing processes and is the foundation of many skin diseases. A relatively overlooked cell type that nevertheless plays critical roles in skin homeostasis, wound repair, and disease is the dendritic epidermal T cells (DETCs), which are also called γδT-cells. Given their varied roles in both physiological and pathological scenarios, interest in the regulation and function of DETCs has substantially increased. Moreover, their ability to regulate other immune cells has garnered substantial attention for their potential role as immunomodulators and in immunotherapies. In this article, we describe a protocol to isolate and culture DETCs and analyse them in vivo within the skin. These approaches will facilitate the investigation of their crosstalk with other cutaneous cells and the mechanisms by which they influence the status of the skin.

Graphic abstract:

Overall workflow to analyse DETCs in vitro and in vivo.

0 Q&A 2285 Views Aug 20, 2021

Recent advances in single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) technologies provide unprecedented opportunities to identify new cell types and characterize cell states. One of the most important requirements for performing scRNA-seq is to obtain high-quality single cells in suspension. Recently, we used this approach to characterize Drosophila blood cells (hemocytes). Here, we provide a detailed protocol for obtaining single hemocytes in suspension, which can be used for microfluidics-based scRNA-seq platforms. This protocol involves the simple bleeding of third instar larvae and the subsequent purification of the hemolymph using either Optiprep-based gradient centrifugation or traditional centrifugation methods to obtain single hemocytes of high quality for scRNA-seq. Importantly, this method for single-hemocyte preparation is straightforward and reproducible, with negligible issues associated with cell viability as the entire procedure involves no enzymatic dissociation.

Graphic abstract:

Workflow for the preparation of Drosophila larval blood cells in suspension. Hemocytes (blood cells) of the sessile and circulatory compartments of larvae are derived by simple bleeding and purification using gradient centrifugation. Blood cells are counted and subsequently encapsulated by microfluidics-based scRNA-seq platforms. Blood cells represented in the schematic are derived from third instar larvae of the genotype Hemolectin-GAL4.Delta, UAS-2xEGFP (BDSC stock #30140).

0 Q&A 3936 Views Jul 20, 2021

Microglia are a unique type of tissue-resident innate immune cell found within the brain, spinal cord, and retina. In the healthy nervous system, their main functions are to defend the tissue against infectious microbes, support neuronal networks through synapse remodeling, and clear extracellular debris and dying cells through phagocytosis. Many existing microglia isolation protocols require the use of enzymatic tissue digestion or magnetic bead-based isolation steps, which increase both the time and cost of these procedures and introduce variability to the experiment. Here, we report a protocol to generate single-cell suspensions from freshly harvested murine brains or spinal cords, which efficiently dissociates tissue and removes myelin debris through simple mechanical dissociation and density centrifugation and can be applied to rat and non-human primate tissues. We further describe the importance of including empty channels in downstream flow cytometry analyses of microglia single-cell suspensions to accurately assess the expression of protein targets in this highly autofluorescent cell type. This methodology ensures that observed fluorescence signals are not incorrectly attributed to the protein target of interest by appropriately taking into account the unique autofluorescence of this cell type, a phenomenon already present in young animals and that increases with aging to levels that are comparable to those observed with antibodies against highly abundant antigens.

0 Q&A 2530 Views Jul 5, 2021

Phlebotomine vectors, sand flies of the order Diptera, are known to transmit Leishmania parasites as well as RNA viruses (arboviruses) to humans. The arbovirus, Icoaraci Phlebovirus (BeAN 24262 - ICOV), used in this study was isolated from Nectomys rodents, a mammalian species that is the same natural sylvatic reservoir of Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis. This Leishmania species is distributed in primary and secondary forests in Brazil and other countries in America and causes localized and diffuse anergic skin lesions. In our recent studies, we observed an aggravation of the protozoan infection by ICOV through the modulation of cytokine expression, such as IL-10 and IFN-β, enhancing the parasite load and possibly the pathogenesis. Efficient viral production and quantitation had to be developed and standardized to ensure that immuno-molecular assays provide consistent and reproducible viral infection results. The standardization of these procedures becomes a particularly useful tool in research, with several applications in understanding the interaction between the host cell and Phlebovirus, as well as co-infections, allowing the study of intracellular signaling pathways. Here, we detail a protocol that allows the production and quantitation of the Icoaraci Phlebovirus using BHK-21 cells (baby hamster kidney cells) and subsequent infection of peritoneal macrophages from C57BL/6 mice.

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