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Cancer Sci. 2010 Nov;101(11):2302-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2010.01687.x.

Neogenesis and development of the high endothelial venules that mediate lymphocyte trafficking.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Laboratory of Immunodynamics, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine Laboratory of Immunodynamics, WPI Immunology Frontier Center, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.


Physiological recruitment of lymphocytes from the blood into lymph nodes and Peyer's patches is mediated by high endothelial venules (HEV), specialized blood vessels found in secondary lymphoid tissues except for the spleen. The HEV are distinguished from other types of blood vessels by their tall and plump endothelial cells, and by their expression of specific chemokines and adhesion molecules, which all contribute to the selective lymphocyte trafficking across these blood vessels. The development of HEV is ontogenically regulated, and they appear perinatally in the mouse. High endothelial venules can appear ectopically, for instance in chronically inflamed tissues. Given that HEV enable the efficient trafficking of lymphocytes into tissues, the induction of HEV at a tumor site could potentiate tumor-specific immune responses, and the artificial manipulation of HEV neogenesis might thus provide a new tool for cancer immunotherapy. However, the process of HEV development and the mechanisms by which the unique features of HEV are maintained are incompletely understood. In this review, we discuss the process of HEV neogenesis and development during ontogeny, and their molecular requirements for maintaining their unique characteristics under physiological conditions.

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