Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Humans; Jurkat Cells; Lymphocyte Activation; Microscopy, Electron; Surface Properties; T-Lymphocytes
T cells can be controllably stimulated through antigen-specific or nonspecific protocols. Accompanying functional hallmarks of T cell activation can include cytoskeletal reorganization, cell size increase, and cytokine secretion. Photon-induced near-field electron microscopy (PINEM) is used to image and quantify evanescent electric fields at the surface of T cells as a function of various stimulation conditions. While PINEM signal strength scales with multiple of the biophysical changes associated with T cell functional activation, it mostly strongly correlates with antigen-engagement of the T cell receptors, even under conditions that do not lead to functional T cell activation. PINEM image analysis suggests that a stimulation-induced reorganization of T cell surface structure, especially over length scales of a few hundred nanometers, is the dominant contributor to these PINEM signal changes. These experiments reveal that PINEM can provide a sensitive label-free probe of nanoscale cellular surface structures.
Institute for Systems Biology
Lu, Yue; Yoo, Byung-Kuk; Ng, Alphonsus H C; Kim, Jungwoo; Yeom, Sinchul; Tang, Jau; Lin, Milo M; Zewail, Ahmed H; and Heath, James R, "4D electron microscopy of T cell activation." (2019). Articles, Abstracts, and Reports. 3145.