Intravital microscopy in historic and contemporary immunology

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Abstract

In this review, we discuss intravital microscopy of immune cells, starting from its historic origins to current applications in diverse organs. It is clear from a quantitative review of the literature that intravital microscopy is a key tool in both historic and contemporary immunological research, providing unique advances in our understanding of immune responses. We have chosen to focus this review on how intravital microscopy methodologies are used to image specific organs or systems and we present recent descriptions of fundamental immunological processes that could not have been achieved by other methods. The following target organs/systems are discussed in more detail: cremaster muscle, skin (ear and dorsal skin fold chamber), lymph node, liver, lung, mesenteric vessels, carotid artery, bone marrow, brain, spleen, foetus and lastly vessels of the knee joint.

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