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Immunol Cell Biol. 2008 Jul;86(5):416-22. doi: 10.1038/icb.2008.22. Epub 2008 Apr 8.

Geography and plumbing control the T cell response to infection.

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Department of Immunology, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030-1319, USA.


The orchestrated movement of cells of the immune system is essential to generation of productive responses leading to protective memory development. Recent advances have allowed the direct microscopic visualization of lymphocyte and antigen-presenting cell migration and interaction during immune response initiation and progression. These studies have defined important characteristics of the microanatomy of lymphocyte movement, particularly in the lymph node. Moreover, the ability to track endogenous antigen-specific T cells has revealed a coordinated pathway of CD8 T cell movement in the spleen following primary and secondary infection. As a consequence, the local anatomy of secondary lymphoid tissues during infection has emerged as a critical regulator of immunity. While some of the factors responsible for the migratory cues instructing immune cell movement have been identified, much remains to be learned. Here, we provide a brief overview of studies examining CD8 T cell localization during the immune response to infection in the context of our current understanding of immune system structure.

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