Navigation Links
New imaging advance illuminates immune response in breathing lung
Date:12/20/2010

Fast-moving objects create blurry images in photography, and the same challenge exists when scientists observe cellular interactions within tissues constantly in motion, such as the breathing lung. In a recent UCSF-led study in mice, researchers developed a method to stabilize living lung tissue for imaging without disrupting the normal function of the organ. The method allowed the team to observe, for the first time, both the live interaction of living cells in the context of their environment and the unfolding of events in the immune response to lung injury.

The finding impacts disease research, the authors say, because the ability to image the lung and other organs with minimum tissue disruption allows scientists to look deeper into the many physiological aspects of injury and diseases like diabetes or cancer.

"The nature of disease is complex, so if scientists can observe in real-time what's happening in tumors or immune responses as they occur, we can find new ways to intervene," said senior author Max Krummel, PhD, UCSF associate professor of Pathology, whose lab developed the new imaging technique for seeing minute details of cellular interaction in tissues.

"We figured out a method for holding cells still enough to image them without interrupting their normal processes. This enabled us to observe cellular events as they happen naturally rather than the usual way, which is to stop the motion of cellular processes in order to photograph them."

The research, published online this week in Nature Methods, includes videos of these immune cell interactions: http://www.nature.com/nmeth/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nmeth.1543.html.

To achieve such clear imaging of the fast-moving lung cells, the team developed a custom rig device that applies a gentle amount of suction to the tissue surface, holding the region for viewing inside the range of their microscope. They then used super-fast imaging with a two-photon microscope to photograph the tissue. Footage was taken 30 times each second, revealing the full progression of cellular participants involved in different biological processes for example: which cells worked together to mount a response to an injury. With that information, the team was able to identify the function of different cell types.

The fast, two-photon microscopy technique previously was developed by the team to monitor immune cells in the lymph nodes and other biological processes. Two-photon microscopy is a light-based high-resolution imaging technology using infrared pulsed lasers to penetrate deep into tissue layers, capturing details as small as one micron (or one ten-thousandth of a centimeter) in diameter. The study uses custom-built microscopes that the team constructed on-site at UCSF.

With more than 20 previously published articles using microscopy, the team is focused on continuing to improve the ability to observe molecules and cells deep within tissues.

Mark R. Looney, MD

"Imaging tissues or organs is ideally done within the living organism and as noninvasively as possible, but there are many challenges," said Mark R. Looney, MD, co-first author and assistant professor in Medicine and Laboratory Medicine at UCSF.

"Light is absorbed and scattered as it passes through tissue, which degrades image quality. And even anesthetized animals have vascular and respiratory movements, complicating the imaging of dynamic processes. Many of these problems are exacerbated in the lung," said Emily Thornton, co-first author and a graduate student in Krummel's laboratory.

Although the lung is a challenging organ to image, it is the site of several important biological functions useful in the study of diseases. For instance, the lung is where the body's internal systems encounter the outside environment through the inhalation of air, allergens, toxins and pathogens. The lung also is in constant contact with inhaled air and with circulating blood cells.

"As a result of achieving video-rate imaging of events within the lung, we've shown how the immune system behaves during normal function and how tissues are affected in acute lung injury," Looney said. "For other disease processes in other organs, we hope to define how collections of cells participate and how they're organized."

In the future, the team plans to miniaturize the stabilizing rig in order to image live tissue biopsies.

"Many different specialties of clinical scientists and pathologists can use this imaging method to learn how disease progression unfolds, but miniaturizing the rig to image biopsied tissue would be a tremendous improvement," Krummel said. "In real-time, for instance, we can catch how cells interact with tumors and observe whether they promote growth or rejection, and whether medical therapy is working."


'/>"/>

Contact: Lauren Hammit
lauren.hammit@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. SNM releases new fact sheet on breast cancer and molecular imaging
2. Cheskin Added Value EVP Lee Shupp Discusses Evolving Dynamics of Consumers and Imaging Tech at 6Sight
3. MU brain imaging center provides research for autism, schizophrenia and Parkinsons disease
4. Similarities in imaging the human body, Earths crust focus of conference at UH
5. UNC expands brain imaging study of infants at risk for autism
6. Studies on imaging and tracking transplanted cells
7. Fattysaurus or thinnysaurus? How dinosaurs measure up with laser imaging
8. SNM Symposium on Multimodality Cardiovascular Molecular Imaging
9. Ultrasound imaging now possible with a smartphone
10. First neuroimaging study examining motor execution in children with autism reveals new insights
11. Lyncean Technologies Inc. receives $1.2 M from NCRR to develop new imaging technique
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/14/2016)... , April 14, 2016 ... and Malware Detection, today announced the appointment of ... the new role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes ... the heels of the deployment of its platform at ... behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive and physiological ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... 2016 LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: ... SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce our successful effort ... variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against counterfeiting ... from athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ongoing ... Bill Bollander , CEO states, "By ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... Unique technology combines v ... security   Xura, Inc. ... digital communications services, today announced it is working alongside ... customers, particularly those in the Financial Services Sector, the ... within a mobile app, alongside, and in combination with, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/26/2016)... May 26, 2016  Agriculture nutrients are in the ... Iowa is running their nitrate removal system ... Erie and coastal regions nationwide are painting ... this widespread issue. NECi Superior Enzymes, a ... Peninsula, developed a new, easy to use device that ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... After several promising treatments in Panama ... City of Knowledge in Panama, a 6 year-old Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy patient received ... year following FDA approval of a second application for a single patient, investigational ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Thailand’s Board of Investment’s ... in San Francisco. Located at booth number 7301, representatives from the Thai Government, ... discuss the Thai biotechnology and life sciences sector. , Deputy Secretary General ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... ... Scientists at the University of Athens say they have evidence that the variety of ... could lead to one good one. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on ... evaluated 98 mesothelioma patients who got a second kind of drug therapy ...
Breaking Biology Technology: