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

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

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