Bioluminescence imaging of lymphocyte trafficking in vivo

Exp Hematol. 2001 Dec;29(12):1353-60. doi: 10.1016/s0301-472x(01)00756-1.


Lymphocytes are highly mobile cells that travel throughout the body in response to a tremendous variety of stimuli. Revealing lymphocyte trafficking patterns in vivo is necessary for a complete understanding of immune function, as well as cell-cell and cell-tissue interactions in immune development and in response to insult. Although the location of cell populations in various tissues at any given point in time may be revealed by techniques such as flow cytometry and immunofluorescence, these methods are not readily amenable to the assessment of dynamic cell migration patterns in vivo. In the past 5 years, technologies for imaging molecular and cellular changes in living animals have advanced to a point where it is possible to reveal the migratory paths of these vitally important cells. Here, we review one advancement in cellular imaging, in vivo bioluminescence imaging, which addresses the problem of lymphocyte tracking. This imaging strategy has the potential to elucidate the temporal patterns of immune responses and the spatial distribution of lymphocytes within the body.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Humans
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods