Generation of a triple-fluorescent mouse strain allows a dynamic and spatial visualization of different liver phagocytes in vivo

ABSTRACT Resident and circulating immune cells have been extensively studied due to their almost ubiquitous role in cell biology. Despite their classification under the “immune cell department”, it is becoming increasingly clear that these cells are involved in many different non-immune related phenomena, including fetus development, vascular formation, memory, social behavior and many other phenotypes. There is a huge potential in combining high-throughput assays - including flow cytometry and gene analysis - with in vivo imaging. This can improve our knowledge in both basic and clinical cell biology, and accessing the expression of markers that are relevant in the context of both homeostasis and disease conditions might be instrumental. Here we describe how we generated a novel mouse strain that spontaneously express three different fluorescence markers under control of well-studied receptors (CX3CR1, CCR2 and CD11c) that are involved in a plethora of stages of cell ontogenesis, maturation, migration and behavior. Also, we assess the percentage of the expression and co-expression of each marker under homeostasis conditions, and how these cells behave when a local inflammation is induced in the liver applying a cutting-edge technology to image cells by confocal intravital microscopy.