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A simple skin blister technique for the study of in vivo transmigration of human leukocytes.

Journal article
Authors Lisa Davidsson
Lena Björkman
Karin Christenson
Mikael Alsterholm
Charlotta Movitz
Fredrik Bergh Thorén
Anna Karlsson
Amanda Welin
Johan Bylund
Published in Journal of immunological methods
Volume 393
Issue 1-2
Pages 8-17
ISSN 1872-7905
Publication year 2013
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Dermatology and Venereology
Sahlgrenska Cancer Center
Institute of Medicine, Department of Rheumatology and Inflammation Research
Pages 8-17
Language en
Keywords Inflammation, Transmigration, Neutrophil, Exudate, Cytokines
Subject categories Cancer and Oncology, Dermatology and Venereal Diseases


The study of human leukocytes is almost exclusively conducted using cells isolated from peripheral blood. This is especially true for neutrophils, despite the fact that these cells are of main (pathological) importance in extravascular tissues upon e.g., infection and/or tissue damage. The journey from circulation to tissue is typically associated with a number of cellular changes, making the cells primed, or hyper-responsive, and in many aspects distinct from the cells present in circulation. Models to obtain in vivo transmigrated leukocytes from human tissue are available, but not widely used. We describe here an easy-to-use model for the study of local inflammation, stemming from limited tissue damage, which can be used to isolate viable and functional leukocytes. The model is based on the generation of aseptic skin blisters, formed by the application of negative pressure, and allows for investigations of the cellular infiltrate as well as of soluble mediators present in the exudate. We believe that this method, combined with modern analysis equipment suitable for small volumes and cell numbers, could be of great use for increasing our understanding of the nature and function of leukocytes that have left circulation and transmigrated to inflamed tissues.

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