• Environmental dimensionality controls the interaction of phagocytes with the pathogenic fungi Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans.

      Behnsen, Judith; Narang, Priyanka; Hasenberg, Mike; Gunzer, Frank; Bilitewski, Ursula; Klippel, Nina; Rohde, Manfred; Brock, Matthias; Brakhage, Axel A; Gunzer, Matthias; et al. (2007-02)
      The fungal pathogens Aspergillus fumigatus and Candida albicans are major health threats for immune-compromised patients. Normally, macrophages and neutrophil granulocytes phagocytose inhaled Aspergillus conidia in the two-dimensional (2-D) environment of the alveolar lumen or Candida growing in tissue microabscesses, which are composed of a three-dimensional (3-D) extracellular matrix. However, neither the cellular dynamics, the per-cell efficiency, the outcome of this interaction, nor the environmental impact on this process are known. Live imaging shows that the interaction of phagocytes with Aspergillus or Candida in 2-D liquid cultures or 3-D collagen environments is a dynamic process that includes phagocytosis, dragging, or the mere touching of fungal elements. Neutrophils and alveolar macrophages efficiently phagocytosed or dragged Aspergillus conidia in 2-D, while in 3-D their function was severely impaired. The reverse was found for phagocytosis of Candida. The phagocytosis rate was very low in 2-D, while in 3-D most neutrophils internalized multiple yeasts. In competitive assays, neutrophils primarily incorporated Aspergillus conidia in 2-D and Candida yeasts in 3-D despite frequent touching of the other pathogen. Thus, phagocytes show activity best in the environment where a pathogen is naturally encountered. This could explain why "delocalized" Aspergillus infections such as hematogeneous spread are almost uncontrollable diseases, even in immunocompetent individuals.
    • The power of single and multibeam two-photon microscopy for high-resolution and high-speed deep tissue and intravital imaging.

      Niesner, Raluca; Andresen, Volker; Neumann, Jens; Spiecker, Heinrich; Gunzer, Matthias; Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Junior Research Group Immunodynamics, D-38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2007-10-01)
      Two-photon microscopy is indispensable for deep tissue and intravital imaging. However, current technology based on single-beam point scanning has reached sensitivity and speed limits because higher performance requires higher laser power leading to sample degradation. We utilize a multifocal scanhead splitting a laser beam into a line of 64 foci, allowing sample illumination in real time at full laser power. This technology requires charge-coupled device field detection in contrast to conventional detection by photomultipliers. A comparison of the optical performance of both setups shows functional equivalence in every measurable parameter down to penetration depths of 200 microm, where most actual experiments are executed. The advantage of photomultiplier detection materializes at imaging depths >300 microm because of their better signal/noise ratio, whereas only charge-coupled devices allow real-time detection of rapid processes (here blood flow). We also find that the point-spread function of both devices strongly depends on tissue constitution and penetration depth. However, employment of a depth-corrected point-spread function allows three-dimensional deconvolution of deep-tissue data up to an image quality resembling surface detection.