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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Automated Imaging and Analysis for the Quantification of Fluorescently Labeled Macropinosomes.

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Macropinocytosis is a non-specific fluid-phase uptake pathway that allows cells to internalize large extracellular cargo, such as proteins, pathogens, and cell debris, through bulk endocytosis. This pathway plays an essential role in a variety of cellular processes, including the regulation of immune responses and cancer cell metabolism. Given this importance in biological function, examining cell culture conditions can provide valuable information by identifying regulators of this pathway and optimizing conditions to be employed in the discovery of novel therapeutic approaches. The study describes an automated imaging and analysis technique using standard laboratory equipment and a cell imaging multi-mode plate reader for the rapid quantification of the macropinocytic index in adherent cells. The automated method is based on the uptake of high molecular weight fluorescent dextran and can be applied to 96-well microplates to facilitate assessments of multiple conditions in one experiment or fixed samples mounted onto glass coverslips. This approach is aimed at maximizing reproducibility and reducing experimental variation while being both time-saving and cost-effective.

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