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J Exp Med. 2006 Dec 25;203(13):2879-86. Epub 2006 Dec 4.

Orchestration of lymphocyte chemotaxis by mitochondrial dynamics.

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  • 1Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine, Department of Biomedical Science, University of Padua, 35100 Padua, Italy.


Lymphocyte traffic is required to maintain homeostasis and perform appropriate immunological reactions. To migrate into inflamed tissues, lymphocytes must acquire spatial and functional asymmetries. Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles that distribute in the cytoplasm to meet specific cellular needs, but whether this is essential to lymphocyte functions is unknown. We show that mitochondria specifically concentrate at the uropod during lymphocyte migration by a process involving rearrangements of their shape. Mitochondrial fission facilitates relocation of the organelles and promotes lymphocyte chemotaxis, whereas mitochondrial fusion inhibits both processes. Our data substantiate a new role for mitochondrial dynamics and suggest that mitochondria redistribution is required to regulate the motor of migrating cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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