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Cytoskeletal actin dynamics are crucial for the activation of T-cells. Immortalised Jurkat T-cells have been the model system of choice to examine and correlate the dynamics of the actin cytoskeleton and the immunological synapse leading to T-cell activation. However, it has remained unclear whether immortalised cellular systems, such as Jurkat T-cells can recapitulate the cytoskeletal behaviour of primary T-cells. Studies delineating the cytoskeletal behaviour of Jurkat T-cells in comparison to primary T-cells are lacking. Here, we employ live-cell super-resolution microscopy to investigate the cytoskeletal actin organisation and dynamics of living primary and immortalised Jurkat T-cells at the appropriate spatiotemporal resolution. Under comparable activation conditions, we found differences in the architectural organisation and dynamics of Jurkat and primary mouse and human T-cells. Although the three main actin network architectures in Jurkat T-cells were reminiscent of primary T-cells, there were differences in the organisation and molecular mechanisms underlying these networks. Our results highlight mechanistic distinctions in the T-cell model system most utilised to study cytoskeletal actin dynamics.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cell Sci

Publication Date





Actin cytoskeleton, Immune synapse, Jurkat cells, Primary T-cells, Actin Cytoskeleton, Actins, Animals, Gene Rearrangement, T-Lymphocyte, Humans, Immunological Synapses, Jurkat Cells, Lymphocyte Activation, Mice, Models, Biological, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, Signal Transduction, T-Lymphocytes