The infiltration of immune cells into tissues underlies the establishment of tissue-resident macrophages and responses to infections and tumors. However, the mechanisms immune cells utilize to collectively migrate through tissue barriers in vivo are not yet well understood. In this thesis, I describe two mechanisms that Drosophila immune cells (hemocytes) use to overcome the tissue barrier of the germband in the embryo. One strategy is the strengthening of the actin cortex through developmentally controlled transcriptional regulation induced by the Drosophila proto-oncogene family member Dfos, which I show in Chapter 2. Dfos induces expression of the tetraspanin TM4SF and the filamin Cher leading to higher levels of the activated formin Dia at the cortex and increased cortical F-actin. This enhanced cortical strength allows hemocytes to overcome the physical resistance of the surrounding tissue and translocate their nucleus to move forward. This mechanism affects the speed of migration when hemocytes face a confined environment in vivo. Another aspect of the invasion process is the initial step of the leading hemocytes entering the tissue, which potentially guides the follower cells. In Chapter 3, I describe a novel subpopulation of hemocytes activated by BMP signaling prior to tissue invasion that leads penetration into the germband. Hemocytes that are deficient in BMP signaling activation show impaired persistence at the tissue entry, while their migration speed remains unaffected. This suggests that there might be different mechanisms controlling immune cell migration within the confined environment in vivo, one of these being the general ability to overcome the resistance of the surrounding tissue and another affecting the order of hemocytes that collectively invade the tissue in a stream of individual cells. Together, my findings provide deeper insights into transcriptional changes in immune cells that enable efficient tissue invasion and pave the way for future studies investigating the early colonization of tissues by macrophages in higher organisms. Moreover, they extend the current view of Drosophila immune cell heterogeneity and point toward a potentially conserved role for canonical BMP signaling in specifying immune cells that lead the migration of tissue resident macrophages during embryogenesis.
Wachner S. Transcriptional regulation by Dfos and BMP-signaling support tissue invasion of Drosophila immune cells. 2022. doi:10.15479/at:ista:11193
Wachner, S. (2022). Transcriptional regulation by Dfos and BMP-signaling support tissue invasion of Drosophila immune cells. ISTA. https://doi.org/10.15479/at:ista:11193
Wachner, Stephanie. “Transcriptional Regulation by Dfos and BMP-Signaling Support Tissue Invasion of Drosophila Immune Cells.” ISTA, 2022. https://doi.org/10.15479/at:ista:11193.
S. Wachner, “Transcriptional regulation by Dfos and BMP-signaling support tissue invasion of Drosophila immune cells,” ISTA, 2022.
Wachner S. 2022. Transcriptional regulation by Dfos and BMP-signaling support tissue invasion of Drosophila immune cells. ISTA.
Wachner, Stephanie. Transcriptional Regulation by Dfos and BMP-Signaling Support Tissue Invasion of Drosophila Immune Cells. ISTA, 2022, doi:10.15479/at:ista:11193.
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