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Diagnostics Microscopy and imaging, Microbiology and immunology, Oncology

Plasma Cell Secrets

The Fooksman laboratory (Montefiore Einstein Department of Pathology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Health System, Bronx, New York, USA) researches normal and malignant plasma cell physiology. These antibody-generating immune cells can survive for decades in the body. Because plasma cells are the architects of long-term immune response, it’s crucial to understand their life cycle and function. A better understanding of these cells can also support improved diagnosis and treatment of plasma cell malignancies such as multiple myeloma. In support of this research, David Fooksman and colleagues use in vivo imaging for cell visualization.

Tracking of adult hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow niche. Red is the HSC track; purple is the outline of stem cell factor 1-expressing cells; cyan marks the outline of auto-fluorescent macrophages.

Credit: Samik Upadhaya.

Large tiled area of bone marrow in live mouse showing a cluster of GFP+ multiple myeloma cells (green) developing in the tibial bone marrow, CXCL12-producing cells in red, and compact bone in blue.

Credit: David Fooksman.

Large tiled area of bone marrow in a bone marrow-chimeric animal, with radiation-resistant stromal cells in red, reconstituted with bone marrow from a Blimp1-YFP plasma cell reporter (green), intravenously injected with Qdot705 (cyan) to label the vascular space.

Credit: David Fooksman.

In vivo imaging of tibial bone marrow of Blimp1-YFP Cd5h-cre rosa26-LSL-tomato mice. Endogenous plasma cells (green) are visible in the bone marrow niche, with endothelial cells labeled in red.

Credit: Zhixin Jing.

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About the Author
Michael Schubert

While obtaining degrees in biology from the University of Alberta and biochemistry from Penn State College of Medicine, I worked as a freelance science and medical writer. I was able to hone my skills in research, presentation and scientific writing by assembling grants and journal articles, speaking at international conferences, and consulting on topics ranging from medical education to comic book science. As much as I’ve enjoyed designing new bacteria and plausible superheroes, though, I’m more pleased than ever to be at Texere, using my writing and editing skills to create great content for a professional audience.

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