Controlled One-on-One Encounters between Immune Cells and Microbes Reveal Mechanisms of Phagocytosis

Volkmar Heinrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Among many challenges facing the battle against infectious disease, one quandary stands out. On the one hand, it is often unclear how well animal models and cell lines mimic human immune behavior. On the other hand, many core methods of cell and molecular biology cannot be applied to human subjects. For example, the profound susceptibility of neutropenic patients to infection marks neutrophils (the most abundant white blood cells in humans) as vital immune defenders. Yet because these cells cannot be cultured or genetically manipulated, there are gaps in our understanding of the behavior of human neutrophils. Here, we discuss an alternative, interdisciplinary strategy to dissect fundamental mechanisms of immune-cell interactions with bacteria and fungi. We show how biophysical analyses of single-live-cell/single-target encounters are revealing universal principles of immune-cell phagocytosis, while also dispelling misconceptions about the minimum required mechanistic determinants of this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-476
Number of pages8
JournalBiophysical Journal
Volume109
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 6 2015

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Phagocytosis
Neutrophils
Single-Cell Analysis
Cytophagocytosis
Cell Communication
Communicable Diseases
Cell Biology
Molecular Biology
Leukocytes
Fungi
Animal Models
Bacteria
Cell Line
Infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

Cite this

Controlled One-on-One Encounters between Immune Cells and Microbes Reveal Mechanisms of Phagocytosis. / Heinrich, Volkmar.

In: Biophysical Journal, Vol. 109, No. 3, 06.08.2015, p. 469-476.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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