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Annu Rev Immunol. 2004;22:683-709.

T lymphocyte-endothelial cell interactions.

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Interdepartmental Program in Vascular Biology and Transplantation, Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06536-0812, USA.


Human vascular endothelial cells (EC) basally display class I and II MHC-peptide complexes on their surface and come in regular contact with circulating T cells. We propose that EC present microbial antigens to memory T cells as a mechanism of immune surveillance. Activated T cells, in turn, provide both soluble and contact-dependent signals to modulate normal EC functions, including formation and remodeling of blood vessels, regulation of blood flow, regulation of blood fluidity, maintenance of permselectivity, recruitment of inflammatory leukocytes, and antigen presentation leading to activation of T cells. T cell interactions with vascular EC are thus bidirectional and link the immune and circulatory systems.

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