Researchers have used a variety of techniques over the past century to gain fun- mental insights in the field of immunology and, as technology has advanced, so too has the ability of researchers to delve deeper into the biological mechanics of immunity. The immune system is exceedingly complex and must patrol the entire body to protect us from foreign invaders. This requires the immune system to be highly mobile and adaptable - able to respond to diverse microbial challenges while maintaining the ability to distinguish self from a foreign invader. This latter feature is of great importance because the immune system is equipped with toxic mediators, and a failure in self/non-self discrimination can result in serious diseases. Fortunately, in most cases, the immune system operates within the framework of its elegant design and protects us from diverse microbial challenges without initiating disease. Because the immune system is not confined to a single tissue, a comprehensive understanding of immunity requires that research be conducted at the molecular, cellular, and systems level. Immune cells often find customized solutions to h- dling microbial insults that depend on the tissue(s) in which the pathogen is found.
The immune system is not bound by a single tissue but is instead bestowed with the challenge of warding off invading pathogens throughout the body. Constant surveillance of the body requires that the immune system be highly mobile and able to purge pathogens from all tissues. Because each tissue presents its own unique architecture and milieu, it is necessary for the immune system to be as malleable as it is dynamic. For example, how the immune system handles a pathogen in the lung can differ significantly from a pathogen encountered in the gut.
Understanding immune complexity in diverse tissue environments is a challenge for researchers. However, advances in imaging have greatly improved our ability to probe the immune system. From snap-shots in time to 4D movies, imaging systems have been used to generate stunning visualizations of immune cells in action throughout the body. These visualizations are not only aesthetically pleasing but they have yielded great advances in our understanding of immune function. This volume provides a synopsis of major insights in immunology revealed using imaging approaches. "Seeing is truly believing", and this volume was assembled to recognize past accomplishments and to provide visions of what the future holds in store in this exciting field.
Two-Photon Imaging of the Immune System: A Custom Technology Platform for High-Speed, Multicolor Tissue Imaging of Immune Responses.- Visualizing Intermolecular Interactions in T Cells.- Multiscale analysis of T cell activation: correlating in vitro and in vivo analysis of the immunological synapse.- T Cell Migration Dynamics Within Lymph Nodes During Steady State: An Overview of Extracellular and Intracellular Factors Influencing the Basal Intranodal T Cell Motility.- Chemoattract Receptor Signaling and Its Role in Lymphocyte Motility and Trafficking.- New Insights Into Leukocyte Recruitment by Intravital Microscopy.- Visualizing the Molecular and Cellular Events Underlying the Initiation of B-Cell Activation.- Tracking the Dynamics of Salmonella Specific T Cell Responses.- Imaging Listeria monocytogenes Infection In Vivo.- Inflammation on the Mind: Visualizing Immunity in the Central Nervous System.- Multiphoton Imaging of Cytotoxic T Lymphocyte-Mediated Antitumor Immune Responses.