Theranostics 2014; 4(2):201-214. doi:10.7150/thno.7570

Research Paper

Multi-Scale Optical Imaging of the Delayed Type Hypersensitivity Reaction Attenuated by Rapamycin

Meijie Luo1,2, Zhihong Zhang1,2,✉, Hui Li1,2, Sha Qiao1,2, Zheng Liu1,2, Ling Fu1,2, Guanxin Shen3, Qingming Luo1,2,✉

1. Bitton Chance Center for Biomedical Photonics, Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics-Huazhong University of Science and Technology (WNLO-HUST), Wuhan 430074, China;
2. MoE Key Laboratory for Biomedical Photonics, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST), Wuhan 430074, China;
3. Department of Immunology, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430030, China.


Neutrophils and monocytes/macrophages (MMs) play important roles in the development of cell-mediated delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH). However, the dynamics of neutrophils and MMs during the DTH reaction and how the immunosuppressant rapamycin modulates their behavior in vivo are rarely reported. Here, we take advantage of multi-scale optical imaging techniques and a footpad DTH reaction model to non-invasively investigate the dynamic behavior and properties of immune cells from the whole field of the footpad to the cellular level. During the classic elicitation phase of the DTH reaction, both neutrophils and MMs obviously accumulated at inflammatory foci at 24 h post-challenge. Rapamycin treatment resulted in advanced neutrophil recruitment and vascular hyperpermeability at an early stage (4 h), the reduced accumulation of neutrophils (> 50% inhibition ratio) at 48 h, and the delayed involvement of MMs in inflammatory foci. The motility parameters of immune cells in the rapamycin-treated reaction at 4 h post-challenge displayed similar mean velocities, arrest durations, mean displacements, and confinements as the classic DTH reaction at 24 h. These results indicate that rapamycin treatment shortened the initial preparation stage of the DTH reaction and attenuated its intensity, which may be due to the involvement of T helper type 2 cells or regulatory T cells.

Keywords: Delayed type hypersensitivity, fluorescent imaging, motility, rapamycin, neutrophils, monocyte/macrophage.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
How to cite this article:
Luo M, Zhang Z, Li H, Qiao S, Liu Z, Fu L, Shen G, Luo Q. Multi-Scale Optical Imaging of the Delayed Type Hypersensitivity Reaction Attenuated by Rapamycin. Theranostics 2014; 4(2):201-214. doi:10.7150/thno.7570. Available from