Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Spying on the behaviour of immune cells in the eye

04 November 2020

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As the only transparent organ in the body, the eye provides the perfect window for watching living cells in action. Advances in microscopy techniques have enabled researchers to spy on live immune cells in the retina at the back of a mouse’s eye in unprecedented detail. These videos reveal that there are two different types of immune cells with distinct behaviours. The first part of the video shows how some of them go on the move, making their way out of the blood vessels in the retina to search for infectious invaders such as bacteria, while others stay in one place to see what comes past. The second half of the video is a zoomed-out version, capturing the full range of motions. Similar techniques are coming through for use in the clinic, opening up a new way of investigating eye diseases by monitoring the presence and activity of immune cells.

Written by Kat Arney

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