Label-free imaging of immune cell dynamics in the living retina using adaptive optics

Aby Joseph*, Colin J Chu, Guanping Feng, Kosha Dholakia, Jesse Schallek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Abstract

Our recent work characterized the movement of single blood cells within the retinal vasculature (Joseph et al. 2019) using adaptive optics ophthalmoscopy. Here, we apply this technique to the context of acute inflammation and discover both infiltrating and tissue-resident immune cells to be visible without any labeling in the living mouse retina using near-infrared light alone. Intravital imaging of immune cells can be negatively impacted by surgical manipulation, exogenous dyes, transgenic manipulation and phototoxicity. These confounds are now overcome, using phase contrast and time-lapse videography to reveal the dynamic behavior of myeloid cells as they interact, extravasate and survey the mouse retina. Cellular motility and differential vascular responses were measured noninvasively and in vivo across hours to months at the same retinal location, from initiation to the resolution of inflammation. As comparable systems are already available for clinical research, this approach could be readily translated to human application.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere60547
Number of pages14
JournaleLife
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2020

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