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T cell stiffness is enhanced upon formation of immunological synapse

  • T cells are activated by target cells via an intimate contact, termed immunological synapse (IS). Cellular mechanical properties, especially stiffness, are essential to regulate cell functions. However, T cell stiffness at a subcellular level at the IS still remains largely elusive. In this work, we established an atomic force microscopy (AFM)-based elasticity mapping method on whole T cells to obtain an overview of the stiffness with a resolution of ~60 nm. Using primary human CD4+ T cells, we show that when T cells form IS with stimulating antibody-coated surfaces, the lamellipodia are stiffer than the cell body. Upon IS formation, T cell stiffness is enhanced both at the lamellipodia and on the cell body. Chelation of intracellular Ca2+ abolishes IS-induced stiffening at the lamellipodia but has no influence on cell-body-stiffening, suggesting different regulatory mechanisms of IS-induced stiffening at the lamellipodia and the cell body.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Philipp JungORCiD, Xiangda Zhou, Sandra IdenORCiD, Markus BischoffORCiD, Bin QuORCiD
Parent Title (English):eLife
Year of Completion:2021
Date of first Publication:2021/07/27
Release Date:2022/05/20
Tag:T cells; calcium; immunological synapse; lamellipodia; stiffness
Impact:08.713 (2021)
Funding Information:Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SFB1027 A2SFB1027 B2SFB1027 A12SPP1782 ID79/2-2) Leibniz-Gemeinschaft (INM Fellowship)
Research Groups:Fellow
DDC classes:500 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 570 Biowissenschaften, Biologie
Open Access:Open Access
Signature:INM 2021/098
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International