Laboratory for Tissue Dynamics
The goal of the laboratory is to understand the mechanisms regulating cell migration and interactions in the tissues that shape adaptive immune responses. Currently, we have limited understanding of how generation of immunological memory and tolerance, two key features of adaptive immunity, are controlled by dynamic interactions among immune cells. For example, it is not understood how dynamics of B cells and helper T cells contribute to generation of humoral immune memory. As for cellular immunity mediated by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), little is known about cell-cell interactions that regulate CTL differentiation balance between effector and memory cells. Furthermore, cell-cell interactions that are required for peripheral tolerance of autoreactive B cells and CD8+ T cells are poorly understood.
As a strategy for tackling the above questions, we use real time imaging, in particular two-photon microscopy, to analyze cellular migration and interactions in the tissues. This microscopy method has been revealing striking dynamics of immune cells in various organs, underlining the importance of this approach to resolve the complexity of the immune system. By applying the imaging strategy to relevant mouse models, we aim to reveal immune cell dynamics that are critical for generation of immunological memory and tolerance.
Figure: Intravital two-photon image of T cells and dendritic cells in the lymph node
Pink and red cells are antigen-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, respectively. Blue and Green cells are different subsets of dendritic cells. Image volume: 400 µm x 400 µm x 50 µm.