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Nat Immunol. 2005 Oct;6(10):1029-37. Epub 2005 Sep 11.

Activation of bone marrow-resident memory T cells by circulating, antigen-bearing dendritic cells.

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The CBR Institute for Biomedical Research and Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Dendritic cells (DCs) carry antigen from peripheral tissues via lymphatics to lymph nodes. We report here that differentiated DCs can also travel from the periphery into the blood. Circulating DCs migrated to the spleen, liver and lung but not lymph nodes. They also homed to the bone marrow, where they were retained better than in most other tissues. Homing of DCs to the bone marrow depended on constitutively expressed vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 and endothelial selectins in bone marrow microvessels. Two-photon intravital microscopy in bone marrow cavities showed that DCs formed stable antigen-dependent contacts with bone marrow-resident central memory T cells. Moreover, using this previously unknown migratory pathway, antigen-pulsed DCs were able to trigger central memory T cell-mediated recall responses in the bone marrow.

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