Studies of Mosquito Immunology and Plasmodium Virulence Using Imaging Flow Cytometry
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The classification of mosquito blood cells is controversial, complicated by the small size and number of cells one can obtain per mosquito, by the autofluorescent debris found in hemolymph, and the tendency of phagocytes to take up this autofluorescent debris. Much of the classification has been performed morphologically on cytospins of isolated cells. Imaging flow cytometry yields simultaneously acquired bright field, scatter, and fluorescent images of cells in suspension, enabling better resolution of rare cells from debris.
This webcast will discuss two studies performed by the speaker in collaboration with colleagues who study malaria and its vector, mosquitos. In the first, they used a transgenic mosquito expressing a fluorescent protein in a subset of immune cells. By imaging flow cytometry, they observed a high degree of morphological variability in the genetically labeled cells, suggesting that the morphology of these cells may be plastic, and not necessarily the most specific indicator of cell type or function. Further evidence suggested that the genetically labeled cells may transfer information by exosomes, which they were able to observe using imaging flow cytometry. In the second study, they examined the mitochondrial function of the plasmodium parasites, using a fluorescent indicator of mitochondrial potential. This added valuable mechanistic information, showing that certain lipid transfer proteins are required for plasmodium infectivity and virulence.
During this webcast you will learn:
- How imaging flow cytometry allows simultaneous phenotypic and functional studies.
- How imaging flow cytometry allows quantification of morphology with high statistical validity.
- How imaging flow cytometry enables rare events to be identified from heterogenous, autofluorescent samples.
- The application of imaging flow cytometry to studies of mosquitos and malaria.
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