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Nat Rev Immunol. 2012 Nov;12(11):762-73. doi: 10.1038/nri3298. Epub 2012 Sep 28.

HEVs, lymphatics and homeostatic immune cell trafficking in lymph nodes.

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CNRS, Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie Structurale (IPBS), 205 Route de Narbonne, F-31077 Toulouse, France.


In search of foreign antigens, lymphocytes recirculate from the blood, through lymph nodes, into lymphatics and back to the blood. Dendritic cells also migrate to lymph nodes for optimal interaction with lymphocytes. This continuous trafficking of immune cells into and out of lymph nodes is essential for immune surveillance of foreign invaders. In this article, we review our current understanding of the functions of high endothelial venules (HEVs), stroma and lymphatics in the entry, positioning and exit of immune cells in lymph nodes during homeostasis, and we highlight the unexpected role of dendritic cells in the control of lymphocyte homing through HEVs.

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