The accessibility and transparency of the cornea makes it a good tissue model for monitoring immunological responses using in vivo real time imaging analysis (Lee et al., 2010; Tan et al., 2013). These corneal qualities have also allowed for high-resolution in vivo imaging of non-ocular tissue transplanted into the anterior chamber of the mouse eye (Speier et al., 2008a; Speier et al., 2008b). This protocol was adapted from Speier (2008) to successfully assess real-time in vivo myeloid cell dynamics in wounded corneas of c-fms-EGFP mice (Chan et al., 2013). Macrophage colony-stimulating factor (CSF-1) regulates the differentiation and proliferation of cells of the mononuclear phagocyte system. The activity of CSF-1 is mediated by the CSF-1 receptor that is encoded by c-fms (Csf1r) protooncogene. The c-fms gene is expressed in macrophage, trophoblast cell lineages, and to some extent granulocytes. In the c-fms-EGFP mice EGFP, enhanced green fluorescent protein, is driven under the Csf1r, colony stimulating factor 1 receptor, promoter and highlights myeloid cells (Sasmono et al., 2003). This protocol can be further adapted to image other transgenic mice expressing fluorescent proteins.
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