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Brain Behav Immun. 2010 Mar;24(3):451-61. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2009.11.014. Epub 2009 Dec 3.

Combined role of extracellular matrix and chemokines on peripheral lymphocyte migration in growth hormone transgenic mice.

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Laboratory on Thymus Research, Department of Immunology, Oswaldo Cruz Institute, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Previous evidence indicated that growth hormone (GH) modulates cell migration in the thymus, and that extracellular matrix and chemokines are involved. Herein, we studied migration of peripheral lymphocytes derived from spleen and lymph nodes of GH-transgenic (GH-Tg) mice. We initially found that the relative cell numbers (normalized per gram of body weight) in lymph nodes and spleens from GH-Tg were higher at all ages tested (2-3, 7 and 12 months), as compared to wild type age-matched controls. Functionally, we found that lymphocyte migration triggered by laminin or fibronectin was enhanced in cells from GH-Tg versus control mice, independent of the organ from which the cells were derived (as ascertained in young adult animals). However, such an enhancement in migration was statistically significant only for CD4+ and CD8+ T cells from mesenteric lymph nodes. Migration of lymphocytes from mesenteric lymph nodes of GH-Tg mice, triggered by the chemokine CXCL12, in conjunction with laminin or fibronectin, was enhanced compared to lymphocytes from control mice. Rather surprisingly, the membrane levels of the corresponding extracellular matrix or chemokine receptors in peripheral lymphoid organs of GH-Tg mice did not necessarily correlate with the changes seen in migratory responses. In conclusion, our data show for the first time that GH alters lymphocyte migration in the periphery of the immune system. Considering that GH is used as an adjuvant therapeutic agent in immunodeficiencies, including AIDS, the concepts defined herein provide relevant background knowledge for future GH-related immune interventions.

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