Protocols in Current Issue
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0 Q&A 2292 Views Nov 20, 2021

CD45 is a pan-leukocyte marker, and CD45 stain is widely used to determine the extent of inflammatory cell infiltration and its association with tissue injury. In this manuscript, we share a reliable immunohistochemistry (IHC) protocol for CD45 staining in sections of paraffin-embedded mouse kidney. A rat anti-CD45 antibody was used as primary antibody, and a mouse adsorbed biotin-conjugated goat anti-rat IgG was selected as secondary antibody. A horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-linked avidin/biotin detection system was used to amplify the signal, which was detected with 3,3′-Diaminobenzidine (DAB). With this protocol, we show that the CD45 antibody recognizes cells of hematolymphoid lineage in bone marrow, as well as monocyte/macrophages in liver and lung tissue. The utility of this protocol in pathology research was indicated by dramatically increased CD45-positive (CD45+) cells in the kidneys of a mouse model of diabetes. Double staining for CD45 and injury marker KIM-1 showed accumulated CD45+ cells around injured tubular cells. CD45 and F4/80 macrophage staining on adjacent tissue sections revealed overlap of CD45+ cells with other inflammatory cells.

0 Q&A 2401 Views Oct 5, 2021

Elevations in cytosolic calcium (Ca2+) drive a wide array of immune cell functions, including cytokine production, gene expression, and cell motility. Live-cell imaging of cells loaded with ratiometric chemical Ca2+ indicators remains the gold standard for visualization and quantification of intracellular Ca2+ signals; ratiometric imaging can be accomplished with dyes such as Fura-2, the combination of Fluo-4 and Fura-Red, or, alternatively, by expressing genetically-encoded Ca2+ indicators (GECI) such as GCaMPs. Here, we describe a detailed protocol for Ca2+ imaging of T cells in vitro using genetically encoded or chemical indicators that can also be applied to a wide variety of cell types. The protocol addresses the challenge of facilitating T cell attachment on various substrates prepared on glass-bottom dishes to enable T cell imaging on an inverted microscope. The protocol also emphasizes cell preparation steps that ensure optimal cell viability – an essential requirement for recording dynamic changes in cytosolic Ca2+ levels – and that ensure reproducibility between multiple samples. Finally, we describe a simple algorithm to analyze single-cell Ca2+ signals over time using Fiji (ImageJ) software.

0 Q&A 2886 Views Sep 20, 2021

Neutrophils are one of the first innate immune cells recruited to tissues during inflammation. An important function of neutrophils relies on their ability to release extracellular structures, known as Neutrophil Extracellular Traps or NETs, into their environment. Detecting such NETs in humans has often proven challenging for both biological fluids and tissues; however, this can be achieved by quantitating NET components (e.g., DNA or granule/histone proteins) or by directly visualizing them by microscopy, respectively. Direct visualization by confocal microscopy is preferably performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue sections stained with a fluorescent DNA dye and antibodies directed against myeloperoxidase (MPO) and citrullinated histone 3 (Cit-H3), two components of NETs, following paraffin removal, antigen retrieval, and permeabilization. NETs are defined as extracellular structures that stain double-positive for MPO and Cit-H3. Here, we propose a novel software-based objective method for NET volume quantitation in tissue sections based on the measurement of the volume of structures exhibiting co-localization of Cit-H3 and MPO outside the cell. Such a technique not only allows the unambiguous identification of NETs in tissue sections but also their quantitation and relationship with surrounding tissues.

Graphic abstract:

Graphical representation of the methodology used to stain and quantitate NETs in human lung tissue.

0 Q&A 2820 Views Dec 5, 2020

During immune responses, B cells home to lymph nodes (LN), where they encounter antigens. Homing starts with capture and L-selectin-dependent rolling on the activated endothelium of high endothelial venules (HEV). After recognition of chemokines presented on HEV, activation of B cell integrins occurs mediating firm arrest. Subsequently, B cells crawl to the spot of extravasation to enter the LN. Extravasation can be visualized and quantified in vivo by intravital microscopy (IVM) of the inguinal LN. Here, we describe an established protocol that permits detailed in vivo analysis of B cell recruitment to LN under sterile inflammatory conditions. We describe data acquisition, exportation, quantification, and statistical analysis using specialized software. IVM of LN is a powerful technique that can provide a better understanding of B cell migratory behavior during inflammation in vivo.

0 Q&A 2298 Views Nov 5, 2020

Supramolecular signaling assemblies are of interest for their unique signaling properties. A µm scale signaling assembly, the central supramolecular signaling cluster (cSMAC), forms at the center interface of T cells activated by antigen presenting cells (APC). The adaptor protein linker for activation of T cells (LAT) is a key cSMAC component. The cSMAC has widely been studied using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy of CD4+ T cells activated by planar APC substitutes. Here we provide a protocol to image the cSMAC in its cellular context at the interface between a T cell and an APC. Super resolution stimulated emission depletion microscopy (STED) was utilized to determine the localization of LAT, that of its active, phosphorylated form and its entire pool. Agonist peptide-loaded APCs were incubated with TCR transgenic CD4+ T cells for 4.5 min before fixation and antibody staining. Fixed cell couples were imaged using a 100x 1.4 NA objective on a Leica SP8 AOBS confocal laser scanning microscope. LAT clustered in multiple supramolecular complexes and their number and size distributions were determined. Using this protocol, cSMAC properties in its cellular context at the interface between a T cell and an APC could be quantified.

0 Q&A 4235 Views Sep 20, 2020
B lymphocyte activation is regulated by its membrane-bound B cell receptors (BCRs) upon recognizing diverse antigens. It is hypothesized that antigen binding would trigger conformational changes within BCRs, followed by a series of downstream signaling activation. To measure the BCR conformational changes in live cells, a fluorescent site-specific labeling technique is preferred. Genetically encoded fluorescent tags visualize the location of the target proteins. However, these fluorescent proteins are large (~30 kDa) and would potentially perturb the conformation of BCRs. Here, we describe the general procedures of utilizing short tag-based site-specific labeling methodologies combining with fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) assay to monitor the conformational changes within BCR extracellular domains upon antigen engagement.
0 Q&A 3655 Views Mar 20, 2020
T follicular helper (Tfh) cells regulate B cell selection for entry into the germinal center (GC) reaction or for differentiation into antibody forming cells. This process takes place at the border between the T and B zones in lymphoid organs and involves physical contacts between T and B cells. During these interactions, T cells endow the B cells with selection signals that promote GC seeding or plasmablast differentiation based on their B cell receptor affinity. In Peyer’s patches (PPs), T cells promote B cell colonization of the subepithelial dome (SED) without effective affinity-based clonal selection. To specifically characterize the T cell population that resides within the SED niche, we performed ex vivo photoactivation of the SED compartment followed by flow cytometry analysis of the labeled cells, as described in this protocol. This technique integrates both spatial and cellular information in studies of immunological niches and can be adapted to various experimental systems.
1 Q&A 3862 Views Jan 20, 2020
Cell surface protrusions include F-actin rich, wave-like ruffles that are erected transiently in response to stimuli and during cell migration. Macrophages are innate immune cells that ruffle constitutively and more dramatically in cells activated by pathogens. Dorsal ruffles and their resulting macropinosomes are key sites for environmental sampling, pathogen detection and immune signaling. Quantitative assessment of ruffling is important for assessing pathogen responses in macrophages and for analysis of growth factor responses in other cell types but automated and quantitative methods are lacking, and rely on manual and qualitative assessments. Here we present an automated ImageJ macro for quantifying dorsal cell surface protrusions from 3D microscope images. The assay presented here is suitable for high-throughput screening applications to detect drug, pathogen, or growth factor induced changes in cell ruffling by measuring ruffle area and intensity and providing normalized values in an easy to read combined spreadsheet.
0 Q&A 5293 Views Apr 20, 2019
Microglia are the resident immune cells of the central nervous system (CNS). In the last year, the improvements in the transgenic mouse technologies and imaging techniques have shed light on microglia functions under physiological conditions. Microglia continuously scan the brain parenchyma with their highly motile processes, maintaining tissue homeostasis and participating in neuronal circuits refinement. Here, we describe a protocol that enables us to perform time-lapse imaging of microglial cells in acute hippocampal slices, making image acquisition possible on an electrophysiology rig equipped with a standard imaging system. Using this ex vivo approach, we investigated microglial processes scanning abilities under physiological condition in hippocampus.
0 Q&A 5379 Views Mar 5, 2019
Testicular macrophages (tMΦ) are the most abundant immune cells residing in the testis, an immune-privileged organ. TMΦ are known to exhibit different functions, such as protecting spermatozoa from auto-immune attack by producing immunosuppressive cytokines and trophic roles in supporting spermatogenesis and male sex hormone production. They also contribute to fetal testicular development. Recently, we characterized two distinct tMΦ populations based on their morphology, localization, cell surface markers, and gene expression profiling. Here, we focus and describe in detail the phenotypical distinction of these two tMΦ populations by fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) using multicolor panel antibodies combining with high-resolution immunofluorescence (IF) imaging. These two techniques enable to classify two tMΦ populations: interstitial tMΦ and peritubular tMΦ.

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