In vivo microscopy approaches to CNS inflammation
Here, I want to discuss how in vivo microscopy techniques can be used to better understand neuro-immune interactions during CNS inflammation.
To illustrate this I will use our recent insights into the in vivo pathogenesis of immune-mediated tissue damage in an animal model of multiple sclerosis. First, I will highlight how in vivo imaging can help us reveal how mononuclear phagocytes damage neurons and oligodendrocytes in inflammatory lesions. Second, I will introduce a phenotype reporter approach that allows us to directly track the fate and behavior of distinct pro- and anti-inflammatory phagocyte phenotypes in the CNS of living mice. This study provides a real-time analysis of the temporo-spatial determinants and regulatory principles of phagocyte specification in the inflamed CNS. Using these examples, I hope to illustrate how recent advances in light microscopy can help us to reveal and mechanistically dissect the interactions of activated phagocytes and CNS target cells as they happen in the living CNS.