2D migration of confined dendritic cells
vendredi 24 mai 2013, 11h00 - 12h00
Résumé / Abstract :
Cell migration is a fundamental biological process and has been studied mostly for cells adhering to the surface by integrins. However, recent data has shown that specific cells can also migrate independent of integrins, as long as they are in a confined environment. We investigated cell migration with different levels of adhesion and confinement in order to characterize this phase space. In confinement, the mechanical properties of cells, especially the nucleus, play a crucial role in migration, for example when cells have to squeeze through tight junctions. Therefore, we also investigated cells while actively migrating through constrictions of small dimensions in microfluidic channels and visualized cellular components such as the actin and the nucleus. On a larger scale, the migration of single cells in confinement influences their trajectories. We use these trajectories to analyze overall migration behaviors such as migration speed or persistence.
One cell type for which migration in confinement is specifically important in-vivo are dendritic cells, the ‘sentinels’ of the immune system, which are constantly migrating in between other cells or tissues in order to look for pathogens, presenting antigens and activating the immune responses. It is not known if dendritic cells scan their environment for pathogens in a simple random walk or if they are using a search strategy optimized for their confined environment. By analyzing the trajectories of confined dendritic cells and comparing them with theoretical models we are trying to answer this question. Such understanding of the migration of cells in confined environment can help resolve fundamental questions of cell behavior and could have a major impact on handling immune diseases and the prevention of tumor metastasis.