Monday, May 11, 2015

T Cells Have a Light Touch

Michael L. Dustin

There is great interest in the force generated by chemotacting T cells because force is proposed to be a key ingredient in the triggering of the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) and forming of a functional immunological synapse. This has been a challenging problem because methods typically used to measure forces with stromal cells cannot be applied to relatively less adherent and rapidly moving lymphocytes. Yang et al. (1) have successfully measured the light touch of a chemotacting lymphocyte with a tool previously reserved for molecular studies—the optical or laser trap.

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