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Towards estimating the true duration of dendritic cell interactions with T cells

Beltman, J.B., Henrickson, S.E., von Andrian, U.H., de Boer, R.J. and Maree, A.F.M. ORCID: 2009. Towards estimating the true duration of dendritic cell interactions with T cells. Journal of Immunological Methods 347 (1-2) , pp. 54-69. 10.1016/j.jim.2009.05.013

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To initiate an adaptive immune response, T cells need to interact with dendritic cells (DCs), and the duration of these interactions plays an important role. In vitro and in vivo experiments have generally tried to estimate the required period of opportunity for T cell stimulation rather than the duration of individual T cell–DC interactions. Since the application of multi-photon microscopy (MPM) to living lymphoid tissues, the interactions between immune cells, as well as the duration thereof, can directly be observed in vivo. Indeed, long-lasting interactions between T cells and DCs were shown to be important for the onset of immune responses. However, because MPM imaging is typically restricted to experiments lasting 1 h, and because T cell–DC conjugates frequently move into and out of the imaged volume, it is difficult to estimate the true duration of interactions from MPM contact data. Here, we present a method to properly make such an estimate of (the average of) the distribution of contact durations. We validate the method by applying it to spatially explicit computer simulations where the true distribution of contact duration is known. Finally, we apply our analysis to a large experimental data set of T–DC contacts, and predict an average contact time of about three hours. However, we identify a mismatch between the experimental data and the model predictions, and investigate possible causes of the mismatch, including minor tissue drift during imaging experiments. We discuss in detail how future experiments can be optimized such that MPM contact data will be minimally affected by these factors.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0022-1759
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 13:18

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