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Science 296 (5574): 1869-1873

Copyright © 2002 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Two-Photon Imaging of Lymphocyte Motility and Antigen Response in Intact Lymph Node

Mark J. Miller,1 Sindy H. Wei,1 Ian Parker,2* Michael D. Cahalan1*dagger

Lymphocyte motility is vital for trafficking within lymphoid organs and for initiating contact with antigen-presenting cells. Visualization of these processes has previously been limited to in vitro systems. We describe the use of two-photon laser microscopy to image the dynamic behavior of individual living lymphocytes deep within intact lymph nodes. In their native environment, T cells achieved peak velocities of more than 25 micrometers per minute, displaying a motility coefficient that is five to six times that of B cells. Antigenic challenge changed T cell trajectories from random walks to "swarms" and stable clusters. Real-time two-photon imaging reveals lymphocyte behaviors that are fundamental to the initiation of the immune response.

1 Department of Physiology and Biophysics,
2 Department of Neurobiology and Behavior, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-4561, USA.
*   These authors contributed equally to this work.

dagger    To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: mcahalan{at}

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