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Studying the Pro-Migratory Effects of MIF.

Methods Mol Biol. 2020;2080:1-18. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9936-1_1

Authors/Editors: Hoffmann A, Zwißler LC, El Bounkari O, Bernhagen J,
Publication Date: 2020

Abstract

Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is an upstream regulator of innate immunity and dysregulated MIF is a key mediator of acute and chronic inflammatory processes, autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases, as well as cancer. MIF is a pleiotropic cytokine with chemokine-like functions that has been designated as an atypical chemokine (ACK). It orchestrates leukocyte recruitment and migration into inflamed tissues through non-cognate interactions with the classical chemokine receptors CXCR2 and CXCR4, pathways that are further facilitated by MIF’s cognate receptor CD74. Here, we describe two complementary methods that can be used to characterize immune cell migration and motility responses controlled by MIF and its receptors. These are the Transwell filter migration assay, also known as modified Boyden chamber assay, a two-dimensional (2D) device, and a matrix-based three-dimensional (3D) chemotaxis assay. The Transwell system is primarily suitable to study chemotactic cell transmigration responses toward a chemoattractant such as MIF through a porous filter membrane. The 3D chemotaxis setup enables for the cellular tracking of migration, invasion, and motility of single cells using live cell imaging.

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