T lymphocyte migration is crucial for adaptive immunity. Manipulation of signaling molecules controlling cell migration combined with in-vitro cell migration analysis provides a powerful research approach. Microfluidic devices, which can precisely configure chemoattractant gradients and allow quantitative single cell analysis, have been increasingly applied to cell migration and chemotaxis studies. However, there are a very limited number of published studies involving microfluidic migration analysis of genetically manipulated immune cells. In this study, we describe a simple microfluidic method for quantitative analysis of T cells expressing transfected chemokine receptors and other cell migration signaling probes. Using this method, we demonstrated chemotaxis of Jurkat transfectants expressing wild-type or C-terminus mutated CCR7 within a gradient of chemokine CCL19, and characterized the difference in transfectant migration mediated by wild-type and mutant CCR7. The EGFP-tagged CCR7 allows identification of CCR7-expressing transfectants in cell migration analysis and microscopy assessment of CCR7 dynamics. Collectively, our study demonstrated the effective use of the microfluidic method for studying CCR7 mediated T cell transfectant migration. We envision this developed method will provide a useful platform to functionally test various signaling mechanisms at the cell migration level.
Wu, Xun, Jiandong Wu, Hongzhao Li, Daniel F. Legler, Aaron J. Marshall, Francis Lin
Journal of Immunological Methods