Popliteal and inguinal lymph nodes that drain the lower limbs, we

Popliteal and inguinal lymph nodes that drain the lower limbs, were removed at various times after intramuscular DNA injection and single cell suspensions prepared as described above. GFP+ STAT inhibitor cells were identified in the FL1 channel of the FACsCalibur flow cytometer (Becton Dickinson). Cells displaying Eα peptide–MHC

complexes were identified using biotinylated Y-Ae and SA-APC. PE-conjugated anti-CD11c was used to identify dendritic cells. In adoptive transfer experiments, Eα-specific TEa T cells were identified using Alexa Fluor 647-conjugated anti-CD90.1 (Thy1.1) (HIS51) (Serotec) and PE-conjugated anti-CD4. A FacsCalibur flow cytometer was used with CellQuest acquisition software and FlowJo analysis software (Treestar). pCIneo see more or pCI-EαRFP plasmid DNA was labelled using the Label-IT Cy5 kit (Mirus Bio) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 20 μg of labelled plasmid in 50 μl PBS was injected intramuscularly (TA muscle) and at various times after injection, draining popliteal and ILNs, distal CLNs and BLNs, spleens, peripheral blood and bone marrow were collected for flow cytometry. Phenotypic characterisation of cells carrying pDNA-Cy5 was performed using fluorochrome-labelled lineage specific markers including MHC Class II,

CD45 (Ly5.2 allotype for B6 mice), CD11b, CD11c and B220. At various times after EαGFP (or EαRFP) protein or DNA immunisation, injection sites (skin or muscle) draining and non-draining lymph nodes and spleens were excised and post-fixed in 1% paraformaldehyde (PFA)/PBS for 2 h. Tissues were quenched for 10 min in 0.5% Gly-Gly (Sigma), followed by 2 h in 10% sucrose/PBS, then overnight in 30% sucrose/PBS before embedding much in OCT medium (Miles, Elkart, USA) and snap freezing in liquid nitrogen. We found that this fixation procedure preserved GFP fluorescence, which is often liable to diffusion in unfixed tissue, but still preserved conformational epitopes including pMHC complexes. 18–20 μm sections of TA muscles were mounted with Vectashield containing the nuclear stain DAPI (Vector) and examined for GFP fluorescence. Frozen sections of lymph nodes,

cut at 6–8 μm were air-dried, rehydrated in PBS, permeabilised in 0.1% Triton X-100/PBS, washed briefly in PBS, treated with 1%H2O2/0.1% sodium azide/PBS to destroy endogenous peroxidases, and blocked using the Avidin/Biotin blocking kit (Vector) and anti-CD 16/CD32 (BD Pharmingen). The GFP signal in tissue sections was amplified using rabbit anti-GFP IgG, biotinylated goat anti-rabbit IgG, SA-HRP (Tyramide Signal Amplification kit, PerkinElmer), biotinyl tyramide and SA-647 or SA-488. Y-Ae+ cells were localised using biotinylated Y-Ae mAb, followed by SA-HRP, biotinyl tyramide and either SA-AF647 or Avidin-Cascade Blue. Control sections were treated as above but were incubated with the Y-Ae isotype, i.e. biotinylated mouse IgG2b.

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