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Trends Cell Biol. 2008 Jun;18(6):298-306. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2008.04.001. Epub 2008 May 9.

Reverse leukocyte migration can be attractive or repulsive.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology and Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 4205 Microbial Science Building, 1550 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


The directional migration of cells within multicellular organisms is governed by gradients of both chemical attractants and repellents in diverse processes, including leukocyte trafficking and neuronal pathfinding in vivo. These complex extracellular environments direct the orchestrated bidirectional trafficking of leukocytes between the vasculature and tissues. Substantial progress has been made in dissecting the molecular mechanisms involved in orchestrating the directed movement of leukocytes into host tissues; however, less is known about the reverse migration of leukocytes from the tissues to the vasculature. In this article, we discuss the functional interplay between chemoattraction and chemorepulsion in the bidirectional movement of cells in complex in vivo environments, and we describe how these mechanisms influence both normal physiology and human disease.

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