Monitoring Immune Cell Function Through Optical Imaging: a Review Highlighting Transgenic Mouse Models

Chintan Chawda, Roisin McMorrow, Natasa Gaspar, Giorgia Zambito, Laura Mezzanotte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


Transgenic mouse models have facilitated research of human diseases and validation of therapeutic approaches. Inclusion of optical reporter genes (fluorescent or bioluminescent genes) in the targeting vectors used to develop such models makes in vivo imaging of cellular and molecular events possible, from the microscale to the macroscale. In particular, transgenic mouse models expressing optical reporter genes allowed accurately distinguishing immune cell types from trafficking in vivo using intravital microscopy or whole-body optical imaging. Besides lineage tracing and trafficking of different subsets of immune cells, the ability to monitor the function of immune cells is of pivotal importance for investigating the effects of immunotherapies against cancer. Here, we introduce the reader to state-of-the-art approaches to develop transgenics, optical imaging techniques, and several notable examples of transgenic mouse models developed for immunology research by critically highlighting the models that allow the following of immune cell function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-263
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Imaging and Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

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