Neutrophil-vessel wall interactions in vivo: Mechanisms & Complexities of two way trafficking

Summary of Research

The principal objective of our research is to investigate the mode, dynamics and mechanisms of leukocyte transmigration, the final stage in the leukocyte adhesion cascade that describes the movement of leukocytes from the vascular lumen into inflamed and/or injured tissues. To achieve this goal we rigorously investigate the interactions of leukocytes with different components of microvessel walls (endothelial cells, pericytes and the vascular basement membrane) using both physiologically relevant as well as pathological inflammatory models. A key component of our work is a research programme that investigates how pathological inflammatory insults impact the dynamics of neutrophil-vessel wall interactions and the implications of disrupted modes of neutrophil transmigration (eg neutrophil reverse transmigration) on inflammatory disease development and dissemination. Collectively through the application of advanced imaging platforms such as confocal intravital microscopy to analyse leukocyte-vessel wall interactions in vivo, our work aims to unravel previously unexplored cellular and molecular physiological concepts and identify disease-specific phenomena.

Our work is largely funded by the Wellcome Trust (Senior Investigator Award) and several grants from the British Heart Foundation and the Arthritis Research UK.