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J Clin Invest. 1991 Nov;88(5):1778-83.

A lymphocyte homing receptor (L-selectin) mediates the in vitro attachment of lymphocytes to myelinated tracts of the central nervous system.

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Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0452.


Lymphocytes enter lymph nodes by first adhering to high endothelial venules, an adhesive event mediated by a lectinlike lymphocyte receptor (L-selectin). Previously, it was shown with an in vitro assay that lymphocytes preferentially adhere to myelin-rich regions in brain sections. Here, using a recombinant form of L-selectin as an immunohistochemical reagent, we demonstrate potential ligands for L-selectin in myelinated regions of the central but not the peripheral nervous system. Using several antibodies and phorbol ester downmodulation of the receptor, we establish that L-selectin on human lymphocytes has a primary involvement in lymphocyte adherence to the myelinated regions. On mouse lymphocytes, the contribution of L-selectin appears to be partial. These findings raise the possibility that leukocyte targeting to myelin-rich regions, via a L-selectin dependent mechanism, may be a factor in the pathogenesis of certain central nervous system demyelinating diseases.

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