From a clinical perspective, understanding and manipulating the dynamics of T cell development may offer key insight in to the progression of various autoimmune diseases as well as present potential treatment options with regards to cancer immunotherapy and vaccination. Although existing single cell approaches are now elucidating the significance of heterogeneity, the way in which T cells evolve to achieve particular phenotypic states remains unclear. We are proposing to use novel microfluidic platforms for dynamically monitoring the response of individual CD8+ T cells over several generations to investigate differentiation, plasticity and metabolism. To accomplish this, we will utilize hydrodynamic traps to dynamically interrogate several generations of a single T cell's progeny by implementing standard immunofluorescence techniques on-chip. Since fluid surrounding the cells can be rapidly and frequently exchanged without perturbing growth, we will be able to monitor expression of cell surface markers and deliver drugs that alter cellular metabolism at precise time points. As a compliment to biochemical markers of lineage we will also measure multigenerational growth rates of single activated T cells in order to provide a physical measurement of the cell's metabolic state.

Public Health Relevance

The process of T cell activation and differentiation is central to a functionally complete adaptive immune response capable of pathogenic clearance, sustained antigenic memory and sensitive modulation of the immune response as a whole. Although existing single cell approaches are now elucidating the significance of heterogeneity, the way in which T cells evolve to achieve particular phenotypic states remains unclear. We are proposing to use novel microfluidic platforms for dynamically monitoring the response of individual CD8+ T cells over several generations to investigate differentiation, plasticity and metabolism.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
1R21AI110787-01
Application #
8681027
Study Section
Cellular and Molecular Immunology - A Study Section (CMIA)
Program Officer
Quill, Helen R
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
1
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
City
Cambridge
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02142